Governance and law
For sustainable management of the Scheldt estuary, a lot of different rules and directives exist. Since the end of the last century, Flanders and the Netherlands aim for cross-border coordination of intentions and ideas regarding policy and management of the estuary. This eventually resulted in constructive cooperation between both countries, which has been reflected since 2008 through the Flemish-Dutch Scheldt Commission (VNSC). The VNSC receives advice from the Scheldt council in which various stakeholders such as governments, ports and environmental and agricultural organisations sit. This makes a proactive policy possible. The Long Term Vision Scheldt Estuary (LTV) was drawn up and its first implementation was described in the Development Plan Scheldt Estuary 2010 (OS2010). In the Long Term Vision, three functions are central: safety from floods, accessibility of the four Scheldt ports and naturalness of the physical and ecological system.
On a European and international level too, there are some juridical and policy-related conditions for monitoring and evaluating the Scheldt, for example Water Framework Directive, Natura2000 and OSPAR. An overview of policy and legislation can be found in the Compendium for Coast and Sea.
A lot of research is being done to support policymakers: how can European legislation be implemented, how can we unite economic and environmental interests, where is compensation needed, …? In addition, attention is paid to monitoring and evaluation in order to conform to different policy requirements. This is collected in the research program ‘Agenda voor de toekomst’ since 2013.