The five countries participating in the study have developed RBMPs and an appropriate Programmes of Measures (PoMs) as well as governance systems to ensure or restore good water quality. These administrative documents have created a good framework for actions that need to be undertaken to limit water pollution. All countries studied have named agricultural pollution as one of the most important pressure factors to water bodies. However the structure of PoMs and distribution of responsibilities in administrating and implementing these plans varied among countries. Some countries had established relatively de-centralized administration, where regional and local authorities play a bigger role (Finland), while in Lithuania for example a rather centralized planning process, which however embodies advisory organizations, is apparent.
A proper analysis of the funding of measures revealed that agriculture is the second biggest sector when it comes to budget allocated in the RBMPs and that diffuse pollution from agriculture is the priority of agricultural measures. Point source contamination, like leakage from storages has remained nevertheless problematic in new EU countries like Estonia, Poland and Lithuania. The summary report also pointed out that RBMPs are well placed in environmental policy, though deeper integration with other policies is needed to meet the target of good water status.
Overall, the brief gives recommendations for improving the role of RBMPs in addressing pollution from agriculture. It was stressed that further integration of water related policies is needed and better prioritization of measures and quantitative targets per river basin should be set. Knowledge transfer of best practices and better collaboration of authorities including adapted measures in high risk areas would also be necessary to meet the target of good water status.