A failure by European countries to fully implement environmental legislation is thought to be costing the EU €50 billion every year in health costs and direct impact on the environment.
Janez Potočnik, environment commissioner, said, “EU law is not an invention from Brussels; it is democratically adopted by all Member States and the Parliament for the benefit of citizens.
“Our environment is protected by some 200 pieces of well-established law, but all too often they are not properly applied”.
The European Commission (EC) has issued a communication to address the issue in which it acknowledges the need for a reliable and accessible knowledge base that conveys information to professionals and public alike.
The EC is also highlighting the cost benefits; in the waste sector alone, full implementation of legislation could make a net saving of €72 billion compared with non-implementation, and additionally create 400,000 jobs.
“This doesn’t just harm the environment”, Potočnik said, “it also damages human health, leads to uncertainty for industry, and undermines the Single Market. In a time of crisis, these are costs we cannot afford”.
Effective enforcement of EU legislation is the responsibility of national authorities; therefore, building citizen confidence in EU environment laws is also a key factor for better implementation. To this end, the EC communication proposes improved inspections and surveillance, and a framework for Member States to address citizen complaints.
The outcome of a discussion about the communication between the European Parliament, the EC and Member States will prepare the ground for the 7th Environment Action Programme.
The push for environmental action at a European level is clear. Investing in a future that improves efficiency and reduces our impact on the planet very much supports this goal. Ask your IFA about sustainable investment or fill in our online form and we’ll connect you to a specialist.
Picture source: R/DV/RS