Groundwater directive

Groundwater (Photo:

Groundwater directive

A proposal for a groundwater directive would have prevented Denmark from banning certain pesticides that can find their way into Danish groundwater. Denmark is the only country in the EU which does not apply chemical water purification. Danish water quality is usually better than water that can be bought in bottles. But quality is threatened, and drinking water has become a scarce resource.

The European Parliament adopted by 390 votes a Danish amendment which would permit better national protection rules and turn the proposal for total harmonisation into a minimum-standards directive. The Commission and the Council of Ministers rejected the amendment, but had to bow to pressure from Parliament in 2006 and allow Denmark a derogation.

In 2008 the battle was repeated in new EU rules on pesticides. It is still possible for a  member state  to forbid certain pesticides.

See also Water