For the past thirty years the EUís environmental programme has been guided by strategic Environmental Action Programmes. The Sixth Community Action Programme
(6th EAP) establishes the Community framework for environment policy and covers the period July 2002 to 2012.
The mid-ter review addresses three distinct questions. Firstly, the extent to which the Union is meeting commitments made; secondly, to consider the most
recent scientific evidence as a means of assessing whether the original goals set out in the 6th EAP are capable of being met; and thirdly to consider whether
the EUís approach to environmental policy needs to be reassessed in light of the changed political context Ė in other words taking account of the recently revised
EU Sustainable Development Strategy, the Lisbon Strategy for growth and jobs and the Commissionís Better Regulation agenda.
The Commission concludes the mid-term review of the 6th EAP by stating that the EUís environmental policy is one of its major achievements. Despite the progress
that has been made the EUís level of ambition needs to be increased. The EU is not yet on the path of sustainable environmental development. There has only been
limited progress with the fundamental issues of integrating environmental concerns into other policy areas and improving the enforcement of EU legislation.
Many environmental pressures are actually increasing: global emissions of greenhouse gasses are rising, the loss of biodiversity is accelerating, pollution
still has a major effect on public health, the amount of waste produced inside the EU continues to increase, and our ecological footprint is steadily growing.
Climate change, biodiversity, health and resource use remain the most pressing environmental challenges and the 6th EAP is still the correct framework
for future action at Community level. The EU is generally on-track with adopting the measures outlined in the Action Programme. However, five years into a ten-year
Programme it is too early to see the results of most of the measures proposed under the 6th EAP. Many have only recently been adopted and ensuring implementation
will therefore be the immediate priority of the Commission.
A review of the most recent scientific situation does reveal several gaps between the objectives set in the 6th EAP and the measures set out for achieving these
objectives. In these areas existing measures will have to be strengthened or new measures adopted.
Link: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/oeil/file. ...