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Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin - IRI THESys

Polycentricity and the Implementation of the EU Water Framework Directive in Germany

Nadine is a doctoral Researcher in the Research Group Governance, Participation and Sustainability at Leuphana University Lüneburg and a member of the IRI THESys Graduate Program. Her research interests include the implementation of the EU Water Framework Directive, Governance structures for transboundary and cross-sectoral cooperation for integrated water protection and forms of collaborative Governance.

Nadine Schröder

Photo: The catchment area from the small river Wuhle connects the rural areas in Brandenburg with the suburban and urban areas in Berlin and is flowing in the river Spree. (here: the Wuhle near the train station Wuhletal in November; by Andreas Renkewitz)

As a new generation EU directive the Water Framework Directive (WFD) from 2000 let much room for interpretation how it can be implemented by the member states and accordingly by the states within Germany. This shall prevent “problems of fit” which can occur if new institutions don’t fit to the biophysical system, existing institutions or other local structures.
This dissertation asks the question how local decisioners follow the WFD requirements of planning along water catchment areas, encouraging the participation of the public and coordinating across administrative and sectoral borders and which factors, not given by the WFD, influence the way how planning processes are conducted (e.g. the decision whether when and how plans are coordinated with other actors). Which Governance Structures developed why and which role plays the (Poly-) Centricity of decision centers influencing the waters with its measures?
It focuses on cities which usually share water catchment areas with its outer conurbation area across an administrative border and whose waters are subject to very heterogeneous and very dense using interests. These pressures bring conflicts which seem to make coordination/ cooperation necessary to reach the aim of the WFD: a good ecological status (or potential) for all European Waters until 2015 (until 2027 with exemptions: most waters are 2015 still far away from this aim). Case Studies will be selected from the different federal states in Germany where the WFD is executed by the existing organizations in territorial units.

Nadine Schröder studied parallel two majors: East Asian Studies/ Korean Studies B.A. with minor Political Science (Free University of Berlin), Environmental Engineering B.Sc. and M.Sc. (Technical University of Berlin) and Integrated Natural Resource Management M.Sc. (Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin). During her Bachelor studies she spent 7 months in South Korea and Japan for practical experience in environmental planning and took part in the International Summer School of the Korea University.


Nadine Schröder


Nadine Schröder, Doctoral Researcher
THESys Graduate Program
Phone: +49 (0)30 2093 46477
Email: nadinejennyshirin.schroeder@alumni.hu-berlin.de