Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

  • European Commission
  • Programmes
  • Resolution (ECSC, EEC, Euratom) on the continuation and implementation of a European Community policy and action programme on the environment, 1977-1981

Previous programme


Successor programme

To prevent, reduce and as far as possible eliminate pollution and nuisances, maintain a satisfactory ecological balance and ensure the protection of the biosphere, ensure the sound management of resources and of the natural environment and avoid any exploitation of them which causes significant damage to the ecological balance, guide development in accordance with quality requirements, especially by improving working conditions, ensure that more account is taken of environmental aspects in town planning and land use, and seek common solutions to environmental problems with States outside the Community, particularly in international organizations.


This second action programme on the environment followed the 1973 action programme through which the Community adopted its environmental policy, the purpose of which was to "help to bring expansion into the service of man by procuring for him an environment providing the best conditions of life and reconcile this expansion with the increasingly imperative need to preserve the natural environment". This policy arose from the recognition of the constraint of limited natural resources on economic progress.

The second action programme sought to ensure the continuation of the policy followed by its predecessor. Special emphasis was laid on measures for setting up the machinery for preventive action, particularly as regards pollution, land use and the generation of waste. The Community's international activity was confirmed, and it was proposed to take account as far as possible of environmental aspects in the policy of cooperation between the Community and developing countries.

The objectives of the programme and the actions to be undertaken were set forth in detail in the "Resolution of the Council of the European Communities and of the representatives of the governments of the Member States meeting within the Council of 17 May 1977 on the continuation and implementation of a European Community policy and action programme on the environment" (Official Journal No C 139 of 13.6.1977).


Priority areas:

- Reduction of pollution and nuisances:
. Objective evaluation of the risks to human health and to the environment from pollution;
. Prevention and reduction of pollution of fresh and sea water;
. Atmospheric pollution;
. Measures against noise;
. Action specific to certain industrial sectors and to energy production;
. Measures relating to certain products;
. Monitoring and assessment;

- Non-damaging use and rational management of land, the environment and natural resources:
. Non-damaging use and rational management of land:
Development of an ecological mapping system; measures relating to rural areas and forestry (pesticides, intensive stock- rearing, mineral fertilizers, rural land use, forests); urban and rural areas, and coastal and mountain regions (town planning, conservation of our natural and cultural heritage, mountain regions, coastal regions);
. Protection of flora and fauna;
. Protection and management of natural resources - campaign against wastage:
Water resources; waste management by a comprehensive policy of prevention, reclamation and disposal (prevention of waste generation, recycling and re-use of wastes, safe disposal of non-recovered waste, reactive waste); environmental problems caused by the depletion of certain natural resources;

- General action to protect and improve the environment:
. Environmental impact assessment;
. Economic aspects (evaluation of the costs of anti-pollution measures and of the benefits resulting from improvement of the environment, the "polluter pays" principle, promotion of measures to improve the environment);
. Dissemination of information relating to environmental protection;
. Research projects concerning the protection of the environment;
. Promotion of awareness of environmental problems and education;
. European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions;
. Improvement of the working environment;
. Measures to ensure compliance with environmental protection regulations;

- Community action at international level:
. Action by the Community and its Member States in international bodies and organizations, and cooperation with non-member countries;
. Cooperation with developing countries on environmental matters.


The Commission was responsible for the implementation of the programme, which remained open to revision and additions taking account of changes in the situation and lessons from experience.
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