Europe - urban development, a matter for national
or local authorities
Urban development, ecology and environmental technology were the main   
subjects for debate, proposed by Josef Pröll, the Austrian Minister for the   
Environment, during the informal meeting of Environment Ministers which   
he hosted in Eisenstadt on 20 May. EIS reports that the meeting was   
attended by ministers for the environment from all member states and the   
candidate countries (Romania, Bulgaria, Turkey and Croatia) and   
Environment Commissioner Stavros Dimas. Based on the principle of the   
exchange of information on best practice and innovative technology   
projects as a means of highlighting the contribution that eco-technologies   
can make to sustainable urban development, the primary outcome of the   
debate was to provide the Commission and the Council with an opportunity   
to confirm their commitment to the EU's Environmental Technology Action   
Plan (ETAP) and to emphasise the potential of these technologies in   
terms of job creation and economic growth.  
The debate was part of a wider discussion on a future strategy for urban   
development. Ministers singled out certain urgent ecological problems:   
reducing and keeping a check on air pollution, noise reduction, urban   
congestion, energy efficiency of buildings. Commissioner Dimas also   
pointed out the importance of 'green' markets as instruments for   
promoting and developing the market for these technologies. But the   
Ministers were adamant that a Community strategy with guidelines and   
recommendations was more than enough and that matters relating to   
urban development should remain under national, even local authority. In   
other words, no EU intervention, let alone legislation would be welcome.  
Taken from Resource Recovery Forum News 
Posted: 13/06/2006 By: Professor Paul Bardos