The ecological status assessment of waterbodies according to the Water Framework Directive and the requirement to prevent a deterioration of this status while achieving an overall improvement has numerous implications for river engineering projects as well as sustainable hydropower development. In the light of the large number of planned hydropower projects in the Western Balkans, in order to achieve carbon-free power production, this topic is currently highly relevant. The lecture will convey the European Union’s perspective on related engineering projects, addressing aspects of ecology and sediments.