At its meeting on 6 October 1995, the Council of Environment Ministers noted its agreement, in principle, to a common position on the proposal for a Council Decision establishing a reciprocal exchange of information and data on air pollution in the Member States. The proposal aims to update and improve the existing system for the exchange of information on atmospheric pollution. This system was set up in order to obtain an overview, through coherent data, of atmospheric pollution at local, regional, national and Community level. The system was also intended to provide the Commission with the necessary information for the adaptation and development of Community policy in the area of air quality. The system falls within the framework of the fifth Community programme for the environment and complements the framework Directive concerning the evaluation and management of air quality. The new reciprocal exchange system, to be set up by the present Decision, will cover a wider range of air pollutants that the existing system and should include data on the networks controlling air pollution and the stations in operation in the Member States. Among the new pollutants for which systematic data will be required, as of 1997, are: benzene, aromatic polycyclic hydrocarbons, carbon monoxide, cadmium, arsenic, nickel and mercury. Once formally adopted, the common position will then be forwarded to the European Parliament under the cooperation procedure.