EC groundwater proposal runs into legal dispute

Almost five years after it was asked to come forward with an EC groundwater protection strategy, the European Commission has proposed a groundwater action programme. The proposal requires Member States to draw up national groundwater protection programmes by 2000, and also promises a series of measures by the Commission itself to build groundwater protection into the EC's agriculture policy. But the implications of its unusual legal base seem certain to provoke a prolonged debate before negotiations on the details can begin.

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