The obligations for results relating to Good Ecological Status from the WFD and the RSDE in France explicitly call for an integrated approach to monitoring and assessing surface water quality. These assessments must take into account biological effects at the population/community level and that of the local aquatic fauna and flora, based on specific ecological quality indices. This leaves ample scope for the in-lab use of bioassays on organisms and cell cultures.
Specifically, the Regulation’s Common Implementation Strategies mention the importance of bioassays within the broader framework of the means and ends of the WFD. In particular, document no.19 "Surface water chemical monitoring" refers to bioassays when discussing the need to introduce techniques to improve the quality of assessments and to reduce the cost of assessments as new tools become available.
Document no.3 "Analysis of Pressures and Impacts" calls for consideration of the potential risk of cumulative effects from substances with similar modes of action in pressure and impact assessments ("cocktail effect"), which is one of the strengths of biological effects-based methods.
Documents 7, 25 and 27 also refer to bioassays, particularly in the context of sediment measurements.