EU: Finnish Presidency organises informal Environment Council

EU environment ministers will gather in Helsinki 23-25 July for an informal meeting to discuss the problems facing the Union´s policy on environment and sustainable development.

The meeting is being held as the Commission is in the process of assessing the 5th EU Action Programme, entitled Towards Sustainability. The Commission´s conclusions, together with its proposals for ´mainstreaming´ environmental measures into all areas of EU activity, are part of a package of reports which will be referred to the European Council summit meeting in the Finnish capital in December.

The EU environment ministers will be joined by their counterparts from the 11 countries that are candidates for membership of the Union. This is the only informal meeting held during the Finnish Presidency to which the candidate states have been invited, and, says the Presidency, reflects the concern that environment issues are taken on board as part of the Union´s enlargement plans. Ministers will also discuss the environmental impact of the Kosovo conflict at a working lunch on 24 July.

Two press conferences will be held on 25 July following the main sessions of the meeting. These will be broadcast on the Presidency website (linked below) by RealAudio.

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