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Environment and society (PART I: EAS)

Objective

Specific Objectives
- Support the implementation and further development of a Strategy for Sustainable Development for the EU
- Prospective analysis of clean technologies, their economic and environmental potential and understanding of their development path and of the main barriers to their up-take;
- Prospective analysis of the impacts of regulation on innovation, competitiveness and employment of the European Industry, in particular in relation with the process presently under way, in which the European Union aims at integrating environmental concerns in all other policy areas;
- Provide better insight in the use of sustainability assessment and accounting methodologies by business, (e.g. Life cycle assessment, environmental indicators), as well as developing sustainability appraisal methodologies to ease the integration process;
- Support the environmental policy-making process through the analysis of current socio-economic and technical developments;
- Increase the co-ordination of the project's activities with those of JRC sister institutes, in particular IES.
Planned Deliverables

Specific deliverables to DGs and other EU Institutions:
- "IPTS survey and assessment of SD research initiatives in support of national and EU SD policies". The objective is to identify and review national research activities addressing the threats to SD identified in the EU strategy and in the Gothenburg Council, to analyse and compare good practices and gaps in current research initiatives and to map key players in SD in selected countries as an input to future network building at European level;
- Workshop: "R&D policies and scientific tools in support of SD decision making". The aim is to present and discuss the impact of latest EU policy papers on Sustainable Development research, present national activities in regard to sustainable development research, analyse their results and experiences and provide a framework for potential evaluation criteria for sustainable development projects;
- Creation of networks of excellence on research in support of SD policies in view of the eventual preparation of an Art. 185 research program on SD;
- Specific prospective techno-economic analysis and scenarios linked to the regular environmental prospective exercises of the EEA;
- Contribute to setting up an independent, flexible and customer oriented Virtual European Recycling Centre (VERC) to raise the efficiency and the yield of recycling operations, reducing costs and increasing the European wide market transparency;
- Methodology for the assessment of the sustainability of EU policies and activities, integrating social, economic and environmental considerations, IA- and development of a user friendly software tool for its implementation;
- Workshop: Impact of Best Available Techniques on the competitiveness of the European industry, in particular in the sectors of pulp and paper, cement and non-ferrous metals;
- Guidebook for the use of policy-makers, municipalities and other public/private organisations that consider variable rate pricing as an option in urban planning and management duties;
- Contribution to the development of a Common Strategy on the Implementation of the Water Framework Directive, in particular regarding the guidance on the analysis of pressures and impacts and the guidance on best practices in river basin management.
- Support to the development of EU policy on mining on water related issues.

As a result of the research:
- Prospective mapping of critical capabilities and competencies to underpin a sustainable and competitive European manufacturing industry;
- Prospective analysis in the horizon 2030 of the economic and environmental impact of bio catalytic process as well as the research needs at European level followed by a workshop;
- Identification of technological bottlenecks and opportunities with respect to the eco-efficient production and use of materials in the short-, mid- and long-term (2005, 2015 and 2030), addressing in particular the European situation;
- Analysis of techno-economic development potentials to de-couple waste generation from economic growth ?V the case of municipal waste;
- Analysis of techno-economic development potentials to de-couple transport intensity from economic growth;
- Identification of the policy factors that encourage farmers to use large quantities of water, and evaluation of the technical and economical feasibility of managing agricultural water demand by modifying policy in a range of sectors;
- Assessment of alternative sustainable policies and instruments for water management.

Summary of deliverables made by: 31/12/2001

"How should we study the relations between environmental regulation and innovation" (IPTS Technical Report, EUR 19827).

"The impact of Best Available Techniques on the competitiveness of European Industry", (IPTS Technical Report, EUR).

Workshop jointly organised with the Ministry of Research of Germany and DG RTD: "Setting concepts in motion: Sustainable Development and R&D Policies". The objective is to put into practice the European Research Area in the field of research policies for sustainable development by identifying future research needs and efficient organisational patterns, and to create a network of excellence to this end. (Bonn 02.2001).

Installation in DG ENTR Intranet and presentation to officials from this DG of the Software tool, IA+, developed at IPTS, for the assessment of EU initiatives in terms of its impact on innovation, competitiveness and environment.

Workshop: Future environmental, structural and technological developments in materials production and use. (Brussels 09.2001).

Workshop: The development of EU environmental policies for the mining sector as related to water issues. The aim was to bring together scientists and EU policy-makers to reflect on the use of research outputs into new EU environmental policies in the mining sector (Brussels 06.2001).

Workshop: Land, water, agriculture, and policies in the Mediterranean. Discussing interdisciplinary research within the frame of social, economic, and institutional dimensions of agricultural water and land use in the Mediterranean (Brussels 04.2001).

Output Indicators and Impact

Output indicators:
-Technical Reports;
-Creation of networks on Sustainable Development Research;
-Creation of a Virtual Recycling Centre;
-Workshops.

Impact:

Contribution to the development of FP6 in the area of SD;
Contribution to the review of the pre-packaging legislation;
Contribution to the elaboration of guidelines for the implementation of the Water Framework Directive;
Contribution to the development of EU legislation on mining;
Contribution to the implementation of the EU Sustainable Development Strategy;
Contribution, with techno-economic scenarios, to the prospective exercise of the EEA in view of the preparation of the European Environmental Outlook;
Contribution to the implementation of the IPPC Directive.
Summary of the project

The Environment and Society (EAS) project supports the development of a EU strategy for Sustainable Development as well as the overall integration of environmental concerns into all European policy areas. It identifies, characterises and provides assessments of selected cases of development and use of clean technologies. The project furthermore reports on a number of important socio-economic aspects of the integration process, e.g. impacts on innovation, competitiveness and employment. It analyses the use and development patterns of sustainability assessment methodologies and indicators. The project supports the revision process of important programmes and directives: the Action programmes for the Environment, Pre-packaging directives, the EMAS regulation, the revision of the European Chemical Policy, the draft Directive on End-of-life vehicles, the draft Directive on Mining Waste and the Water Framework Directive. The project also provides conceptual input towards new policy initiatives, e.g. the Recycling forum, the Communication on the Precautionary principle, Integrated Product Policy.

Rationale

The Communication The Amsterdam treaty establishes Sustainable Development as a major goal for the European Union, and identifies the Integration of Environmental Concerns in all other European policy areas as a major tool to direct development in the direction of Sustainability. The European Council of Göteborg, June 2001, has agreed to a sustainable development strategy for the Union by adding an environmental dimension to the social and economic components of the Lisbon strategy. The choice of policy instruments to support the integration process will greatly influence not only the success of the integration process but also the impact on a number of crucial societal parameters like innovation, competitiveness and employment.

Funding Scheme

JRC - Joint Research Centre research

Coordinator

Institute for Prospective Technological Studies
Address

Seville
Spain