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Law 3199 on water protection and management Harmonization with EU Directive No. 2000/60/EC.

Type of law

A new legislative and institutional framework has been put into force in the country. It consists of Law 3199/03 on "water protection and the sustainable management of the water resources" with which the EU Water Framework Directive (No.2000/60/EC) is transposed into the national legislation. This new framework Law foresees a radical reorientation of the respective administrative capacities in Greece and introduces an innovative and holistic approach concerning water management that recognizes explicitly the ecological function of water. It also lays emphasis on management of water on river basins level as well as on the water pricing so that it reflects its full costs.
In more detail, the main objectives of the new Law include: the long-term protection of water resources, the prevention of deterioration and the protection and restoration/remediation of degraded water resources and wetlands, the reduction and, in cases, the phase out of harmful and polluting discharges, the reduction of groundwater pollution and the prevention of its further deterioration as well as the mitigation of the effects of floods and droughts. The 3199/03 Law also incorporates the polluter pays principle and the objective of maintaining or reaching a good ecological status for all water resources through the control of pollution by use of thresholds levels and standards. It also introduces innovative approaches concerning the protection of water quantity and cooperation for the protection of transboundary water courses and lakes on transnational level.
According to the Law, Regional Water Directories and Councils, supervised by the National Water Agency, will be established for each one of the thirteen River Basin District / Water Region of the country, aiming at co-ordinating water policy activities (including water pricing) and implementing specific Programmes of Measures and Action Plans for achieving the environmental objectives of the Water Framework Directive for each River Basin District. Representation of interested parties in regional Water Councils ensures an active public involvement in the process.
In order to complete the transposition of the Directive, besides this new law, further instruments, Presidential Decrees and Joint Ministerial Decisions are under preparation, for the incorporation of the technical provisions of the Directive.
Date of text
Entry into force notes
The Law enters into force on the date of publication in the Official Gazette, unless differently specified in other articles.
Serial Imprint
Efimeris tis Kyverniseos No. 280, Part I, 9 December 2003, pp. 4821-4828.
Source language


Legislation Amendment
Original title
. 3199. 2006/60/ 23 2000.