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Integrating environmental considerations in Commission policy-making

The European Commission has adopted a series of measures aimed at improving and reinforcing its internal procedures in order to ensure a better integration of environmental considerations in its policy-making and management.

The measures adopted include:

- Environmental appr...
The European Commission has adopted a series of measures aimed at improving and reinforcing its internal procedures in order to ensure a better integration of environmental considerations in its policy-making and management.

The measures adopted include:

- Environmental appraisals: All policy proposals will be evaluated by the Commission at an early stage in their development in order to assess whether they have positive or negative consequences for the environment;

- Sectoral policy statements: Each Directorate-General of the Commission will draw up its own policy statement on the environment and sustainable development stating where and how it will achieve integration of environmental considerations into its policies;

- Reporting: The Commission will regularly review progress on integration and the implementation of the measures;

- Green Stars: Legislative proposals in the Commission work programme will be attributed a "Green Star" to indicate where a detailed assessment of environmental consequences is required;

- Environmental integration correspondents: Each Directorate-General will nominate a senior official, close to the central policy-making process, responsible for ensuring that policy proposals from that Directorate-General take account of the environment and of the need to contribute towards sustainable patterns of development;

- Greening the budget: The Commission will analyse the effects on the environment of Community funding, particularly in relation to agriculture, energy, transport and development policies, as well as Structural Funds;

- Green housekeeping: The Commission will accelerate its efforts to apply the highest standards of environmental care in its administrative policies;

- Training: Particular efforts will be made to develop training programmes for Commission staff on environmental appraisal and integration.

Commenting on the new measures, Mrs. Ritt Bjerregaard, Commissioner responsible for the environment, said: "Although there has been important progress in the recognition within the Commission of the need to integrate environmental considerations into other policy areas, there is considerable scope for improvements. The revised Treaty puts a new emphasis on the need for integration of environmental requirements into all policies. The integration of environment with economic and social policies as part of the process of sustainable development puts it at the heart of the policy-making process".
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