Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

Official Journal Reference

C 63 of 1986-03-18

Legislative Reference

86/C63/01 of 1986-03-06
To raise public awareness of the importance of environmental protection and, with that aim, to carry out specific model environmental protection projects; to promote better incorporation and integration of environmental protection policy in the different policies of the Community and its Member States, in particular economic, industrial, agricultural and social policies; to emphasize the European dimension of environment policy; and to demonstrate the progress already made and the achievements realized by the Community environment policy since its inception.


The European Council on 29 and 30 March 1985 called for the years to come to be marked by significant progress in Community action for the protection of the environment in Europe and throughout the world. With this aim in view it designated 1987 as the "European Year of the Environment". The 1987-1988 Community action programme was launched in response to this decision, to organize and promote a programme of events and activities aimed at raising public awareness about protecting and improving the environment.

In its Resolution of 3 May 1988 (Official Journal No C 129 of 18.5.1988), the Council of the European Communities acknowledged the impact made by the European Year of the Environment in terms of increasing environmental awareness across all sectors of the Community. It noted the involvement of non-Member State countries, in particular some of the less developed countries, and emphasized the need for greater convergence of interests and attitudes on the importance of environmental problems for the implementation of Community policy.


- General awareness campaign centred on a limited number of key topics and directed at various sectors of society, notably education, science and industry, and national, regional and local authorities, using the different media (TV, radio, film, press) and other networks (schools, arts centres), conferences, prizes, distribution of publicity material, etc.;

- Model environmental protection pilot projects implemented in Member States to serve as examples and models in the field of environmental protection, the rational management of natural resources and the development of new technologies;

- Pilot projects to improve monitoring of the quality of the environment and to determine whether the objectives of Community environmental policy are being achieved (these related in particular to training and equipping staff to carry out the monitoring work).


The European Year of the Environment was organized with the help of the following Committees:
- A Committee of patrons, consisting of eminent public figures known in the Member States for their commitment to environmental protection;
- An Advisory Steering Committee, chaired by the Commission and made up of the chairmen of the National Committees and representative public figures from the fields concerned;
- National Committees set up in each Member State, composed of members representing the various fields concerned by environmental protection.

The Steering Committee was responsible for the general coordination of the programme and for ensuring coherence between all the various activities which were carried out.

The National Committees had the task of promoting, supporting and implementing national projects organized for the European year of the Environment in the State concerned. In particular, they were called on to identify projects suitable for Community financing and to suggest any appropriate event or activity within the framework of the European Year of the Environment. They were authorized to collect and administer private or public funds made available by various groups and bodies.

The action programme was funded at Community level out of appropriations from the General Budget of the European Communities. Funding for the pilot projects was available from existing Community funds (e.g. European Development Fund, European Social Fund, European Agricultural Guidance and Guarantee Fund, Guidance Section) in accordance with the fund rules applicable.

The Commission was required to submit a final report on the implementation of the programme to the Council and the European Parliament.
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