Skip to main content

Article Category

News

Article available in the folowing languages:

Community environmental policy needs a more global scope

The European Community needs to be involved in environmental policy at a global level if it is to have any real impact on policy making in areas such as climate change and biodiversity, said Ken Collins recently. Mr. Collins is chairperson of the European Parliament's Committe...

The European Community needs to be involved in environmental policy at a global level if it is to have any real impact on policy making in areas such as climate change and biodiversity, said Ken Collins recently. Mr. Collins is chairperson of the European Parliament's Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Consumer Protection. He argued that policy-making for the environment is necessary at an international level because 80% of environmental legislation originates in the European Union (EU) but many environmental problems are trans-border by nature. He was speaking at a public hearing on 20 April 1999, held under the title "Environment 2000 - Agenda for Change". Chairperson Collins emphasized that the Committee's work would change drastically due to the forthcoming enlargement of the European Union, Agenda 2000 and globalization. He believes that this is a perfect moment to summarize the achievements of environmental policy so far and to discuss future challenges. The first speaker the meeting, David Baldock, who is Executive director of the Institute for European Environment Policy, underlined that, during the last 20 years, the EU has emerged as a global leader in environmental law and policy. The annual number of items of environmental legislation adopted alone was important, but he mentioned problems in the transposition of Directives into national law. Domingo Jiménez Beltrán, executive director of the European Environment Agency, also acknowledged that some environmental improvements had been made, but he said, there had been no major progress so far. He blamed the process of decision-making for being too slow. To achieve more sustainable development he proposed measures in the fields of agriculture, energy and transport. James Currie, Director-general for the Environment (DG XI) in the European Commission, proposed a double-track approach to the environment, taking in both reinforcement of environmental policy and further integration of environmental considerations into all fields of policy. Sustainability could only be attained by involving all Member State governments and the financial and economic sectors in the process of decision-making, said Mr Currie.