11th Carpathian Basin Conference for Environmental Sciences

Georg A. Janauer



Danube and Tisza River Corridors: environmental and conservational aspects seen through the perspective of European legal regulation


Danube and Tisza are among the large rivers of Europe. Whereas their natural river corridors where only influenced by geologic, geographic and climatic conditions. Their parallel run through Hungarian territory makes them share a common geographic unit, the Great Hungarian Plain. Today both rivers have suffered from intensive human intervention. With the implementation of the Water Framework Directive (WFD) by the European Council Member States of the EU are requested to amend the conditions of running waters, as well as of still waters, transitional, and coastal waters, and of groundwater, to ‘good status’. This request refers not only to the ecological quality of water bodies concerned, but implies the hydro-morphological condition, and the chemical status, as well as a special focus on heavily modified and artificial waters. But the WFD is not the only legal regulation dealing directly or indirectly with water bodies in the European Community, and demanding their observance when putting into action the necessary measures. Among these additional regulations we find Directives regarding Bathing Waters, birds and habitats, drinking water, nitrates, plant protection products, or urban waste-water treatment, as well as some more. This contribution will focus on the interrelationship and possible competition in aims of some of these legal requirements, based on examples from the Danube and the Tisza river corridors. Touching future challenges will complete this presentation.