CNR-IRSA activities related to INHABIT

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The intercalibration exercise is specifically mentioned in the Annex V of the WFD. Its main objective is to harmonise the interpretation of ‘good ecological status’ in all Member States, and to ensure that this common interpretation is consistent with the definitions of the Directive itself.
The intercalibration exercise was a long and complex activity: the first phase has involved the member states roughly from 2003 to 2008 and covered only some of the Biological Quality Elements, for which suitable data could be available, in certain categories of the water body. Based on the indications of the Common Implementation Strategy (CIS) - a joint program of action for the implementation of the WFD, established at Community level - the first activities of the intercalibration exercise involved the creation of a register of sites, representing ecological status at the boundaries between the “high” and “good” and between the “good” and “moderate” classifications, that served a s a base to perform the exercise and the constitution of Geographic Intercalibration Groups (GIGs), in which the exercise could be carried out on the basis of geographical peculiarities of the different European contexts.
In this first phase of the intercalibration exercise, regarding rivers and benthic macroinvertebrates, with direct technical support of some European projects such as STAR and AQEM, the concept of Intercalibration Common Metrics has been developed, i.e. metrics that can be calculated and be usefully applied over large geographical areas on an European scale. These metrics, eventually combined into multimetric simple indices, can be used to compare the classifications produced by the various national methods and, thus, to detect possible discrepancies in the interpretation of the concept of "good ecological status".
In 2008 the Commission published the results of the intercalibration exercise in a Commission Decision published in the Official Journal of the EU.