About ECRR development

10 Years ECRR Celebration, Lelystad 2009  ©  ECRR

The European Water Framework Directive (WFD)

By implementing the WFD the EU has acknowledged restoration of rivers and their floodplains as necessary during the last decades, and has thus already funded a number of isolated river restoration projects. However, to benefit most in the future from this knowledge and experience on river restoration there was a need for national organisations as well as an international network to collect and disseminate such information.


For this purpose the European Centre for River Restoration (ECRR) was established in 1995. In 1999 the official constitutional meeting of the ECRR was held in Silkeborg, Denmark, within a LIFE Environment project, that ensured funding during the 1999-2002 period. At the meeting, with 55 participants representing 22 European countries, a management board was set up and the first steps towards a European network on river restoration was taken.

For the first three years the secretariat was held by the National Environmental Research Institute (NERI, Denmark); then, for the following four years, by the Institute for Inland Water Management and Waste Water Treatment (RWS-RIZA, The Netherlands); from mid 2006 until the end of 2009 the Italian Centre for River Restoration (CIRF, Italy) hosted the secretariat.

As of the 1st of January 2010 untill 31 December 2014 the secretariat was hosted by DLG Governement Service for Land and Water Mnagement in the Netherlands and from then on the secretariat is supported by the ECRR Association.

Our Network, Association and Board

The objectives of the ECRR are achieved through the development of an European Network of relevant national institutions that act as a reference on river restoration for each country. These can be established either in the form of national centres for river restoration (NGOs or associations), or of national networks, where usually a public body coordinates the activities of different organizations. Untill the end of 2014 the Secretariat was executive body and main driver of the Network and then the ECRR Association was formed.

The Objective of the association To encourage and support ecological river restoration throughout greater Europe, by 

  • Connecting people and organisations working on ecological river restoration, 
  • Supporting the development of best practice in ecological river restoration, 
  • Exchanging information on ecological river restoration.

Members of the Association

Must be ‘organisations’ (they MUST be recognised by national law):

  • A corporate body (agency, authority, company, etc), or 
  • A non-corporate body (trust, other small NGO, etc).

The organisation has a nominated individual to act as its representative (or two). Individuals acting alone, not for an organisation, cannot be members.

The member organisation: 

  • Must have compatible objectives with ECRR’s, 
  • Must apply to the ECRR Board to be a member, 
  • Must be accepted as member by the Board,
  • Must 'pay' an annual fee.

Membership can end or be terminated (various legal rules apply).
Donors of the Association

  • Anyone/ any organisation paying the Board agreed ‘Donor’ fee (to be set by Board) to become a Donor.
  • Option to set different fee structure for Donor categories and provide written confirmation of that category and fee level.

Financial resources

  • Annual membership fee from all members (proposed by Board, set by GMM), 
  • Donor fees at agreed rate (to be set by Board), And any other revenues….
  • Can also charge an admission fee to new members - proposed by Board, set by GMM

Financial year is January to December.

Executive Board, decided by appointment by the General Members Meeting, manages the ECRR. 
There must be Chairman, Secretary and Treasurer and 2 to 6 others (total of 5 to 9 persons on the Board).
Appointed for 3 years then retire. Can stand again immediately.  No more than 9 years.
The Board must prepare annual accounts and an annual report within six months of the year end, and submit to the General Members Meeting.

The executive Board is currently formed of three persons (interim members) and 5 advisory persons.

Martin Janes Chairman a.i.
The River Restoration Centre -RRC

Martin Janes
Jukka Jormola Treasurer a.i.
Environment Institute - SYKE
Jukka Jormola

Giancarlo Gusmaroli Secretary a.i.
Centro Italiano per la Riqualificazione Fluviale - CIRF

Bart Fokkens Advisory member
Associate expert at Wetlands International - WI
Bart Fokkens
Timur Pavluk Advisory member
Institute for Integrated Water Management and Protection - RosNIIVH
Timur Pavluk
Chris Baker Advisory member
Wetlands International - WI
Chris Baker
Gilles Neveu Advisory member
International Network for Basin Organisations -  INBO
Gilles Neveu
Askoa Ibisate Advisory member
Centro Iberico de Restauracion Fluvial - CIREF
Askoa Ibisate



The ECRR board meets at least once a year. Meetings are preferably held in different countries usually coupled with thematic national or international meetings and workshops. In between there are several virtual meetings, made through videoconference and/or email. Decisions are taken by the executive board based on the articles of the Association.

All members have the task of proposing and evaluating new activities that might be developed by the network as well as considering and discussing the needs and the initiatives suggested during the ECRR conferences and seminars and/or by the ECRR contacts. They also submit to the executive board inputs and ideas coming from the national centres, acting, in this way, as a reference on river restoration for each country. The executive board can invite relevant international organisations and professionals to participate as invited advisors at the board meetings.

The ECRR network

The network is formed by individuals and organisations and includes presently about 800 subcribents from all over the world, which could be involved in information exchange and discussions on activities promoted by the ECRR and at least receiving the regular ECRR newsletter. Joining the ECRR Network is free: register here for the ECRR newsletter.

General Members Meeting

At least once per year and open to all ECRR member organisations.  Can be held in writing or by email.  Member representatives do not have to be present to vote. 

GMM outline: 

  1. Vote in the Board, changes to the Board
  2. Set fees, proposed by the Board 
  3. Any discussion items 
  4. Approve Annual Accounts and Annual Report 
  5. Any specific requirements if needed under formal ECRR Association Articles

The Board members cannot vote.
The meeting must be noted (minuted) by Secretary or other. Then adopted at the next meeting and signed by Chairman and Secretary


Based in Dutch Law, see the Articles ECRR English version