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DGXII explains its environmental policy

The European Commission, Directorate General XII, has explained why it contributes towards environmental research in Europe, stating that it supports the adoption of increasingly strict environmental regulations and objectives to preserve the environment, because it believes t...
The European Commission, Directorate General XII, has explained why it contributes towards environmental research in Europe, stating that it supports the adoption of increasingly strict environmental regulations and objectives to preserve the environment, because it believes that the Member States must collaborate to look after the European and global environment.

The Commission believes that Europe must act responsibly as its own massive urban cities put huge pressures on the environment, and the European Union (EU) research programmes are valuable tools to find ways to minimize the adverse effects of our modern lifestyles.

The Commission has therefore outlined how its research and development programme adds value to environmental research. An important feature of research funded by the Commission is its multidisciplinary nature. Research projects principally tackle environmental questions from a range of viewpoints. So, rather than taking a cloistered, one-dimensional approach, the Commission encourages research that draws on lessons learned in the exact and the social sciences.

The very names of the actions targeted under the European Commission's Fifth Framework Programme (FP5) for Research, Technological development and Demonstration (RTD) reflect this. For example, there are research areas defined as the "City of Tomorrow", "Management and Quality of Water", and "Environment and Health".

Research, DG XII says, should be integrated into technological developments as early as possible, such as in the early stages of industrial design, which should always take into account any possible environmental impact. It stresses that this will bring both environmental and economic benefits.

In its overview of EU-funded environmental research, DG XII also explains how the EU wants to help eliminate, or to reduce to a minimum, damage to the environment or health by providing lasting technological solutions. Many projects therefore involve industry in promoting innovation in clean technologies and studies to draw a normative framework as a basis for environmental regulations.

Also, since 1986, the EU has striven to remedy the deterioration of European cultural heritage (such as architecture, works and objects of art and ancient books). The initiative investigates scientific and technological aspects to develop tools to evaluate damage and put it right, or to prevent further deterioration.

The Commission also gives details of the EC's contribution to research and development in industrial safety, human health and natural risks. It explains in even greater detail how its Environment and Climate programme is aimed at understanding phenomena, refining forecasts, measuring global change resulting from human activities, and supporting operations between European centres of excellence for scientific research.

Source: European Commission, Directorate-General XII

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