To arrive at a good status of all European water bodies is the main objective of the European Union (EU) Water Framework Directive (WFD). Since its adoption in 2000, the policy has fundamentally changed the institutional, procedural and organizational structures of Member States' water management, leading to an Europeanization of national legislation and decision-making structures. The case of WFD implementation in Schleswig-Holstein is an example of the policy's highly innovative governance architecture that unfortunately is not (yet) able to take that one last hurdle: to improve water quality and establish a good water status across EU Member States by 2015 or 2027.

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