This starter’s guide provides a brief overview of the five EU environmental directives that target the protection and management of Europe’s freshwater and marine environments. These concern the Habitats Directive, the Birds Directive, the Water Framework Directive the Marine Strategy Framework Directive and the Floods Directive.

The document aims to give practitioners working in different thematic fields at the Member State level a basic insight into the key aspects of these Directives. It summarises the main objectives and provisions of each and examines their commonalities and differences, highlighting in particular potential synergies that should be foreseen when implementing the Directives.

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