With the Maastricht Treaty of 1st November 1993, environment and water protection were for the first time established as objectives of the European Union.
The experience of the ICPR in international water protection served as an example, when river basin related EU directives for environment and water protection were drafted.
On 22 December 2000, the EU Water Framework Directive entered into force, continuing the approach of integrated water management which had proved successful along the Rhine. Its obligations are binding for all EU Member States. The objective of the Water Framework Directive is that, by 2015, all water bodies will achieve a good state.
In January 2001, Switzerland as non EU Member State agreed to support the catchment-wide coordination of the EU Member States in the ICPR on the basis of national laws.
At the same time and with a view to a coordinated implementation of EU directives in the international Rhine catchment, a common working platform, the Coordinating Committee Rhine was created within the ICPR, integrating states in the Rhine catchment (Liechtenstein, Austria and Belgium (Wallonia)) which are no contracting parties to the ICPR.
December 2000 Entry into force of the EC Water Framework Directive (2000/60/EC)
January 2001Conference of Rhine Ministers 2001 - Adoption of the Programme on the sustainable Development of the Rhine - Rhine 2020" (ICPR + WRRL)
January 2003 Entry into force of the Convention on the Protection of the Rhine
December 2006 Entry into force of the EC Groundwater Directive 2006/118/EC
October 2007 Conference of Rhine Ministers 2007
November 2007 Entry into force of the EU Flood Risk Management Directive 2007/60/EC
January 2009 Entry into force of the EU Directive on environmental quality standards in water policy - "Priority substances" (2008/105/EC)
August 2013 Entry into force of the EU directive modifying the directives 2000/60/EC and 2008/105/EC concerning priority substances in the field of water policy (2013/39/EU)
June 2014 COMMISSION DIRECTIVE 2014/80/EU of 20 June 2014 amending Annex II to Directive 2006/118/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council on the protection of groundwater against pollution and deterioration