Legal and practical aspects of the bilateral relations between

Report
“Key challenges in the implementing law within transboundary
basins – selected case studies, presentations by GWP
Participants”
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Legal and practical aspects of the bilateral relations
between Bulgaria and Greece coordination of
cooperation in trans-boundary water management
(River basins: - Struma, Mesta, Arda and Maritsa)
Vladimir Stratiev - Bulgaria
CONTENT:
I. Legal framework of interstate relations in the cooperation in the
field of trans-boundary water management.
II. Characteristics of the river basins in Bulgaria. Initial hypotheses
for the possible forms of transboundary water management.
III. Legal aspects and major challenges in trans-boundary water
management between Bulgaria and Greece in the common
European legal framework and in accordance with bilateral
agreements.
IV. Summary and conclusions on the issues and legal aspects of
trans-boundary water management from the experience of
Bulgaria and Greece.
Legal framework of interstate relations in the
cooperation in the field of trans-boundary water
management.
1. Instruments of international law - UN documents and international conventions with a
subject to the environment and water.
2. European legal framework for environmental protection and water management.
3. National legislation of the Republic of Bulgaria relevant to the field of
water management.
4. The 50- year history of bilateral international instruments in relations
between Bulgaria and Greece on water management.
I.3. National legislation of the Republic of Bulgaria relevant to
the field of water management.
- art. 5 of CRB the implementation of the international agreements in the
Bulgarian judicial system;
- art. 18 of CRB - special laws and exclusive status of the waters and the
protected areas;
- art. 24 and art. 85 of the CRB – the base for the foreign policy of Bulgaria,
and the participation in international treaties;
- International agreements Act, the Agreement for the joining of Bulgaria to
the EU;
- The Water Act from 2000 and its systematic importance for the all main
transpositions of European water directives;
- Other connected to it ecological laws – the Environment Act and these for the
protected areas and biodiversity, management of the waste treatment,
responsibility for covering the environmental damages and etc.
- Laws regulating activities of water use and public services in water sector;
І.4. Bilateral international instruments in relations between
Bulgaria and Greece on water management:
І.4.1. The both Bilateral Agreements from 1964 – one is into force to 2024;
І.4.2. Agreement from 1972 – no any activity…. ;
І.4.3. Agreement from 1995 for usage of water in Mesta river basin;
- many disputes are blocking the Agreement ;
І.4.4. Conclusions from the 50-year history of the bilateral relations;
І.4.5. Joint Declaration of the ministers of the Environment from 2010.
Summary of conclusions about the experience of
Bulgaria in the bilateral agreements with Greece
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The review of the bilateral agreements include their main objectives and significance, the
assessment of the nature of the obligations of the parties, the existence of legal mechanisms and
marking the positive and negative aspects of the agreements;
There are identified as problems the one-sided and mostly aimed for water usage nature of these
arrangements,
their directions to ensure the economic interests of the downstream country for an regular annual
supply of the fresh water resources on responsibility of the upstream country,
also the lack of environmental objectives and systematic approach in the regulation of the
bilateral relations;
The agreements are associated with tense historical and diplomatic relations, with different
positions on the perspectives and interests in this field;
the lack of effective and constructive dialogue within this framework;
In the agreements there are no mechanisms or goals for the development and improvement
these relations;
The framework is unable to display the current contemporary issues and necessary solutions on
water management cooperation between the two countries;
Confidence and assurance of reciprocity and mutual interest are lacking in this process and in the
main aspects of the bilateral relations.
II. General hydrographic and territorial
characteristics of the river basins between Bulgaria
and neighbouring countries.
ІІ.1. Hydrographic and territorial characteristics.
- 4 districts of basin management;
- boundary and transboundary rivers – Danube, Maritsa, Rezovska,
Timok;
- distribution of the river basins on Bulgarian territory – Arda, Maritsa,
Tundja – the point of their merging is around Edirne , Turkey;
- Struma, Mesta and Dospat – all the down-streams are on the North
Greece territory;
- data for the river basins and their annual flow – constant fresh water
sources to Greece (further are given also maps and schemes to
illustrate this).
Tudja
Maritsa
Arda
T
The main river basins in East-Aegean river basin district
West –Aegean river basin district
Main data for the rivers and river basins in South Bulgaria
West Aegean river basin district
Territory – 11 965 km2 /11 % of the territory of Bulgaria/
Main rivers:
Struma: length (290 km); - area 8545 km2; flow – 2 242 700 000 m3;
Mesta:
- - (125 km); - area 2789 km2;flow - 950 000 000 m3;
Dospat: - - (96 km); - area 636 km2; flow - 182 900 000 m3;
East Aegean river basin district
Territory - 35 200 km2 - /32 % of the territory of Bulgaria/
Population – 2 402 134
Common length of the main rivers – (912,6 km)
Main rivers:
Maritca: length (305 km); - area 21084 km2; flow – 3 403 000 000 m3;
Tundja:
- - (337 km); - area 8029 km2; flow - 1 252 290 000 m3;
Dospat: - - (231 km); - area 5273 km2; flow - 2 289 000 000 m3;
Common Fresh Water Flow from Bulgaria territory through the main
rivers to the border of Greece – over 7 500 000 000 m3 annually!
ІІ.2. Initial hypotheses scenarios (options) in view of
hydrographic features of the location of river basins and river
stream against state frontiers.
• Significance of the location of the state boundaries according to the river
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beds and water courses and the territory of water bodies - scenarios
(hypotheses);
Placement of the border crossing the river stream – up-stream and down
stream territories;
• Placement of the border in the middle of the river stream – left bank – right
bank;
• Mixed cases – the border is crossing the rivers and follows the course, incl.
to its estuary upon entering the rivers in the sea;
• Status of the territories of the river basins and the role of state sovereignty.
II.3. Participation of Bulgaria in international agreements in the field of
water.
• Two Conventions in the Danube river basin ;
• Convention for the protection of the Black Sea – BSC;
• Bilateral agreement with Romania for the implementation of the WFD;
• Bilateral agreements with Turkey – Common Agreement for the cooperation
in the field of the environment, ad hoc Agreement since 1993 for supplying
of water against payment for the irrigation and the Joint declaration
between the ministries from 2012 for cooperation in water resources
management.
III. Legal aspects and major challenges in trans-boundary water
management between Bulgaria and Greece in the common European
legal framework and in accordance with bilateral agreements.
ІІІ.1.1 Legal aspects of the WFD
• Guiding principle of the EU directives in the
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of water – WFD, FRMD, the Directive 271
concerning urban waste water MSFD and others.
A major highlight is the introduction of basin water management and the set of activities
for the preparation of management plans for the river basins.
The WFD requires an ecosystem approach and integrated water management;
In article. 3 and art. 13 of the WFD are provided principles for determining the
transboundary bodies and principles for developing common plans for the management of
international river basins and coordinating relevant RBMP where the river basins from the
relevant territories are within the international river basin district.
The purpose of these and other provisions of the WFD is to ensure common, equal and
widespread implementation of the requirements of art. 4 of the WFD in setting
environmental objectives in the process of water management and the development of
programs of measures in the RBMPs in every EU member-state.
ІІІ.1.2. Major challenges in the implementation of the WFD
- harmonization of the relevant national legal framework with European
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directives in the field of water management;
the level of introduction and implementation of the WFD and the daughter
directives in the relevant EU member-states;
coherence of the systems for water management and protection;
comparability of the structure and the organization of the competent
institutions and the management of the water sector in the member states;
the organization of the management of the water sector in neighboring
countries, incl. the reached different stages and phases in the preparation
and execution (implementation) of the first RBMPs resp. FRMPs;
legal aspects that have no explicit decision in WFD - examples from the
practice....
ІІІ.2.1. Joint Declaration from 2010 for cooperation in the
field of water management in river basins shared between
Bulgaria and Greece. Basic points and development(five
principles).
• Constant dialogue and cooperation between all levels of the administration
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of the Environment and Water;
Reciprocal and periodic exchange of information between the Parties
pursuant to the international legal framework;
The bilateral cooperation will be coordinated pursuant to the national
legislations and according to EU directives;
Cooperation aiming for protection of the water resources and sustainable
water management in the relevant territories – exchange of quantitative
and qualitative data on waters;
Coordination of RBMPs pursuant to the РДВ;
The Joint Declaration contains constructive and flexible approach towards
all of the “hot” moments in the relations between the two countries –
search for understanding.
ІІІ.2.2. Joint Declaration from 2010 for cooperation in the
field of water management in river basins shared between
Bulgaria and Greece. Development
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meetings of expert working groups - 2011-2014;
preparation and implementation of rules and procedures for cooperative work;
targeted exchange of information and data;
start of coordination in the processes of development and implementation of
RBMP in each of the countries;
- prior coordination of data and methods of work on FRMPs;
- new principles in the dialogue and the working methods between the countries mutuality, reciprocity, common understanding of the aspects of TWM warranties
of mutuality of interests in the usage of the waters;
- development the exchange of information and the agenda of the working groups
from the general and institutional issues to the specification in the expert levels
and coherence of the activities pursuant the general matrix of the WFD;
III.2.3. Status of the preparation of RBMPs in Bulgaria and
Greece
• In the beginning of 2010 г. in Bulgaria are established the first 6-year
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RBMPs pursuant the requirements of WFD and Water Act.
Bulgaria participates as a candidate-member and then as a member of the
EU in the mechanism and activities of ICPDR for the preparation of the first
management plan for the international river basin of the Danube and the
second cycle of evaluation and implementation of the Plan;
During 2010 Bulgaria has made the transposition of FRMD, which set the
beginning of the preparatory activities and the first FRMPs;
In the preparation the countries have to keep the succession of the phases
provided in the FRMD – evaluation of the flood risk, definition of the zones
with high flood risk, preparation of the first FRMPs as a part of the RBMPs
In 2014 Greece is yet to finalize its first RBMPs;
Bulgaria enters the II cycle of evaluation and implementation of river basin
management plans in 2014;
Status in the preparation of RBMPs в in the EU member states
(Updated 08/04/2014)
IV. Summary and conclusions about the issues and
legal aspects of transboundary water management
from the experience of Bulgaria and Greece.
IV.1 Conclusions concerning the necessary principles, incorporation of
the objectives and the framework for successful development of the
bilateral relations in transboundary water management.
- what are the obligatory principles of any bilateral and multilateral
cooperation in the field of waters;
- principles in the building of the relations;
- highlights and priorities in water management;
- what are the appropriate legal mechanisms for the development of the
relations and for avoiding the disputes;
- how to create an incorporation of the objectives and the priorities;
- Steps of forming a common legal framework - international regulations
and national legal framework;
ІV.2. Factors for the development of the international legal
framework for trans-boundary water management.
- sharing practical experience from existing multilateral and bilater al
agreements - the results;
- development of the theoretical and legal principles and guidelines in support
of the bilateral cooperation - analysis of the proper models;
- a ecosystemical approach and priority of the environmental objectives and
aspects of the development of the forms of transboundary water
management;
- development and implementation of the European legal framework advanced model for upgrading - WFD, FRMD, MSFD;
- Modernization of the international agreements and conventions and the
international legal theory and practice, incl. Analysis and evaluation whether
they are necessary, when the basic principles of the European directives in
the water sector are followed.
AMENDMENTS TO THE PRESENTATION:
• Proposal to the UN for adoption of new
principles in Water Management and Human
Rights to Water – Sofia March 2014
Proposal to the UN for adoption of new principles in Water
Management and Human Rights to Water – Sofia March 2014;
The guidelines about sustainability and the final outcomes of UN-Water document "A Post-2015 Global Water
Goal" from January 27, 2014, were the basis for the national discussions in March 2014. The aims to achieve
sustainability in the water sector have been reviewed in the light of Bulgaria's geographical location and its EU
membership.
Experts and stakeholders unanimously supported the proposal that the United Nations should strengthen the
following principles in relation to water, ensuring human rights in each country:
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The UN Charter to the Human Rights to be the base for the development of the International law,
including the International law for the Waters;
Globally the Water is a subject of strategic interests and they require adequate quantity and
quality of the water for the population and economy bearing the needs of the aquatic
ecosystems;
Ownership of water should not be determined in the national legislation;
Every State to exercise the sovereignty over the waters formed in its territory;
Water resources use of transboundary rivers/basins to be based on the principles of solidarity and
reciprocity.
Measures should be taken so that the quality of these waters is not affected to a degree that
would deprive the right to use in downstream or coastal countries;
All bilateral and multilateral agreements which bind country/countries to provide a certain water
amount to transboundary country/countries to be adequately changed or canceled.
River Basin Management Plans should become the main tool for ensuring the required amount of
water without the risk to human health and environment damages;
Flood Risk Management Plans should become the main tool for minimizing the risk of flooding,
causing human casualties and economic losses. Each country should build early warning systems
for floods, as a primary measure minimizing the flood risk to the population and the economy for
the country itself, as well as for the transboundary countries.
Thank you!

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