Court of Auditors Report 12/2017 Implementing the Drinking Water Directive: water quality and access to it improved in Bulgaria, Hungary and Romania, but investment needs remain substantial

1. The Special Report by the European Court of Auditors (ECA) examines whether EU actions improved the quality of drinking water required by Council Directive 98/83/EC (the ‘Drinking Water Directive’ (DWD)). The member states covered by the report are: Bulgaria, Hungary and Romania. These member states were chosen because they joined the EU in 2004 or later; have had significant amounts of EU funds (for the management and supply of drinking water) allocated to them between 2007-2020; have had limited access to drinking water (in the case of Romania); and have reported a high level of water losses between 2008 and 2010.

2. As it considers the situation in those member states only and the UK has for many years had high levels of compliance with the DWD (over 99.9%), the report is of limited relevance to the UK.

3. In the 3 member states on which the report focuses the ECA assesses whether: citizens have safe access to quality drinking water; the requirements of the DWD are being met; European Regional Development Fund (ERDF)/ Cohesion Fund (CF) projects have improved the quality of drinking water and access to its supply; and revenues generated and additional national public funding are adequate to maintain the drinking water supply infrastructure.

Topic  EU Audits 
Department  DEFRA 
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Associated file(s)


  1. EM on ECA Report 12/2017 - 613 KB - pdf
  2. Unnumbered Doc Court of Auditors report 12/2017 - 1 MB - pdf

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