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Environmental Law: EU law & policy

Subjects: Environment, Law

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European Union & the Environment

The EU's environmental standards have developed over decades.

According to Europa. its main priorities today are:

  • protecting endangered species and habitats and
  • using natural resources more efficiently


"The European Community has the task of fostering the harmonious, balanced and sustainable development of economic activities which respects the need, in particular, to ensure a high level of environmental quality." - Environment Council website

The Environment Council is composed of environment ministers who meet about four times a year. It decides by qualified majority in codecision with the European Parliament.

DG Environment is the EU Commision DG that aims "to protect, preserve and improve the environment for present and future generations". It proposes policies intended to ensure high standards of environmental protection and to preserve the quality of life of EU citizens.  DG Environment may represent the EU Commission at international conventions.

Quick start: specific topics

The EU institutions (the Commission, the Council and the Courts) are active players in the environmental law arena.  The webpage link below is a portal to the following topics.
... Tackling climate change
... General provisions
... Waste management
... Air pollution
... Air quality
... Atmospheric pollution
... Land motor vehicles
... Other vehicles
... Industry
... Water protection and management
... Protection of nature and biodiversity
... Soil protection
... Civil protection
... Noise pollution
... Environment: cooperation with third countries
... European statistics

Agriculture
Food safety
Energy