The European Commission hosted a conference on Community water policy, as part of the consultation process on its development, in Brussels on 28 and 29 May 1996. The consultations are based on the Commission's communication of 21 February 1996 on EU water policy. Mrs. Ritt Bjerregaard, Commissioner responsible for environment policy, welcomed the wide range of delegates at the conference and stressed the need for transparency in the development of Community policy on water. The Commissioner said that in 20 years EU water policy had achieved a great deal but the pressures on the aquatic environment, and the demands for water, both in quality and quantity, are still increasing. The conference was attended by over 250 delegates, and provided the Commission with a broad-ranging and stimulating debate on every aspect of the proposals. The consultations, including the results of the conference and written submissions, together with the opinions of the European Parliament and the Council of Ministers, will be integrated into the Commission's proposal to form a genuine framework for the future management and protection of water resources throughout the Community. This proposal should be published by the end of 1996.