European Parliament sets resource efficiency as one of its key goals until 2020


Member States of the European Union should rigorously enforce environmental law, the European Parliament said as it endorsed the EU’s 7th Environmental Action Programme.

Giving its backing to the 7th Environmental Action Programme in a deal with the Council of Ministers, the European Parliament called for the priorities of the programme to be enforced up to 2020.


The nine priorities are:

1)   To protect, conserve and enhance the Union’s natural capital

2)   To turn the Union into a resource efficient, green and competitive low-carbon economy

3)   To safeguard the Union’s citizens from environmental related pressures and risks to wellbeing

4)   To maximise the benefits of Union environmental legislation by improving implementation

5)   To improve the knowledge and evidence base for Union environmental policy

6)   To secure investment for environmental and climate policy and address environmental externalitie

7)   To improve environmental integration and policy coherence

8)   To enhance the sustainability of the Union’s cities

9)   To increase the Union’s effectiveness in addressing international environmental and climate-related challenges.

European MEP and rapporteur for the Parliament’s approval of the text Gaston Franco said: “Environmental action certainly entails costs, as does inaction, but it also entails benefits which public funding authorities and private investors cannot afford to ignore in today’s climate.

“Environmental concerns must therefore no longer be the adjustment variable, but must be built in, well upstream, to various sector specific policies.

“The aim, henceforward, is that undertakings given by the EU and its member states under this policy must be duly fulfilled and EU environmental legislation fully enforced. This is a duty to EU citizens and to our planet.”

The new Environmental Action Programme is to be formally approved by the Council of Ministers in November before being published in the EU Official Journal by the end of the year. This will then provide guidance to legislation and regulation up to 2020.