EU environment policy priorities under the German Presidency

As Germany takes the helm of the European Union for the next six months, these are the priority areas in environmental policy the new Presidency says it will pursue, as announced on the new Presidency website.

Alongside the integration of environmental aspects into other Community policies to encourage sustainable development, a central issue for the German Presidency will be further development of the EU’s climate-protection policy in order to create the preconditions for implementing the commitments it has entered into. In the interests of Europe’s citizens, the new Presidency says it is essential to make immediately tangible progress in improving air quality and in water-protection policy and waste policy.

The German Presidency will seek to move forward the harmonisation of energy taxation. Furthermore, it will encourage a European strategy for product-related environmental protection and promote the necessary discussion on a more efficient drafting and development of the European chemicals policy. The framework conditions for an even stronger autonomous commitment on the part of undertakings should be improved by the amendment of the European eco-management and audit system.

Also, the German Presidency will schedule discussion of new instruments which improve citizens’ participation in decisions with implications for the environment as well as the transparency of such decisions.
Introducing the applicant States to the adoption and implementation of Community environment law as well as to the safety standards met by nuclear installations in the EU Member States will represent a considerable challenge, it says.

Under the German Presidency, “the European Union will also constitute a driving force in regional and global cooperation on environmental protection to encourage sustainable development world wide and ecological modernisation. It will pursue emphatically demanding objectives, common measures, progress in realising lasting development and active further development of environmental protection in the framework of international conventions and in international organisations“.

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