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European Commission: Common Implementation Strategy for the Water Framework Directive (2000/60/EC). Guidance document no. 5 - Transitional and Coastal Waters Typology, Reference Conditions and Classification Systems. Office for Official Publications of the European Communities, Luxembourg, 2003.


In May 2001 the Common Implementation Strategy was established. The objective of the Strategy has been to provide support to the implementation of the Water Framework Directive by developing coherent common understanding and guidance on key elements of the Directive.

The COAST working group was one of the working groups established within the
Strategy. The remit of the group has been to develop a non-legally binding document
providing Guidance on the implementation of Annexes II and V in relation to transitional and coastal waters.

This Guidance Document has been written over a relatively short period of time. A series of working group meetings were held and attended by technical experts and regulators from European Union Member States, Norway and some Accession States as well as experts representing Non-Governmental Organisations and Stakeholder organisations associated with water and environmental policy.

The Guidance is not prescriptive and will need to be adapted to fit local circumstances.
It is also recognised that further work is required on the development of classification schemes as classification tools are tested and class boundaries are set.

The importance of continued communication between experts from different Member States is emphasised throughout the Guidance especially with respect to typology, reference conditions and classification.

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