River restoration should target at restoring complete ecosystems and ecosystem processes, in which, as in undisturbed nature, dynamism is a key feature, expressed as the self-sustaining capacity of river and stream ecosystems and their capacity to respond to imposed external environmental changes. In this, regarding the four dimensions of a river, hydro-morphological processes remain a key factor in steering ecosystem processes and ecosystem quality.
ECRR promotes that the European national governments ensure their international credibility by applying an ecosystem approach. As to manage their rivers on a basin scale, in particular the transboundary rivers. Ecological approach is also promoted in addition to the integrated river basin management approach and to use the opportunities to address ecological river restoration and conservation within the implementation plans of the EU Directives.