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Environment


Josef Pröll
Federal Minister of Agriculture, Forestry, Environment and Water Management
  

Federal Minister Josef Pröll will chair the Environment Council and represent the position of the EU in a large number of international conferences and negotiations on the environment during the Austrian Presidency of the Council of the EU.

The Environment Ministers of the EU Member States and the Environment Commissioner meet four times a year in the Environment Council to further develop the EU environment policy and to ensure sustainable development on a global level.

The environment is one of the fields in which the EU has become especially active over the past 30 or so years, since it has become clear that the often complex environmental problems can only be effectively addressed through cross-border cooperation.

EU environment policy has changed substantially in the past ten years in particular. The extremely compartmentalised, and in some cases highly detailed, regulation of water, air and waste has given way to a more comprehensive approach which attempts to take acount of all the environmental consequences of human activity and to place them in a socioeconomic context.

Sustainable Development Strategy

The fruit of these endeavours is the European Sustainable Development Strategy and the activities resulting from it. The aim of this strategy is to combine balanced economic growth with social progress and better environmental quality. Further information on the Sustainable Development Strategy can be found under European Council/Sustainable Development Strategy.

The Sixth Environment Action Programme

The Sixth Environment Action Programme (EAP) also reflects the new developments in environment policy, which does not rely solely on legislation but has a whole range of instruments at its disposal. The Programme approaches the most important environmental objectives and priorities for 2002–2012 on the basis of an assessment of the current state of the environment and the main trends, including emerging problems. Climate change, biodiversity, environment and health/quality of life and natural resources/waste management are the priority issues of the Sixth EAP. To this end the European Commission will present seven thematic strategies in 2005/2006, together with legislative proposals in some cases. The following themes are covered: air quality, waste, natural resources, the marine environment, pesticides, soil and the urban environment. Austria’s priorities are air quality, waste and the urban environment. More

International Agenda

A large number of international environmental conferences and negotiations on chemicals, energy, biodiversity, genetic engineering, sustainable development and climate will take place during the Austrian Presidency. Austria will be responsible for coordinating the EU position before the conferences, for representing this position and for leading the negotiations with the EU’s international partners at the conferences.

 

Read more about the Austrian Presidency Programme here

 

Date: 31.03.2006