The Directive 2000/60/EC of the European Parliament and Council of October 23, 2000, establishing a framework for Community action in the field of water policy, came into effect on December 22, 2000 (Water Framework Directive).
The objective is to achieve good status of water in all the rivers, lakes, transitional waters, and groundwater in the EU member states by 2015. To achieve this, river basin management plans and programmes of measures for each sub-basin must be established by 2009.
The key element of the Water Framework Directive consists in the coordinated effort of the countries in the Elbe River basin.
The four countries in the International District of the Elbe River Basin – the Czech Republic, Germany, Austria, and Poland – came to the agreement that, during the implementation of the Water Framework Directive, they will establish international coordination and cooperate under the ICPER.