EU | Environmental policy priority in 2016

Priorities of the EU presidency for the first half of 2016.

politica ambiental UE 2016

Environment Council

The issue of the environment encompasses environmental protection, which includes the wise use of resources and protecting human health, as well as international environmental issues such as climate change.

As Presidency holder, the Netherlands sets store by an integrated approach. Sustainable growth involves more than just reducing CO2 emissions. Not only does our economy need to become climate neutral, it also needs to become circular, which entails a cycle in which economic goals converge with the responsible (re-)use of raw materials and energy.

The Dutch Presidency will focus on:

  • The follow-up to the UN climate summit (COP21) held in Paris in December 2015
  • Progress in the reform of the emissions trading system (ETS), which aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions
  • The Circular Economy (CE) Package, which includes an action plan and revised legislative proposals on waste. The objective is to arrange a policy debate resulting in Council conclusions in June. CE is also a theme in the Competitiveness Council. A longer-term goal will be the first international green deal, the ‘North Sea Resource Roundabout’
  • the ‘Make it work’ initiative, which is aimed at more consistent and more effective EU environmental legislation
  • National emission ceilings (NECs) for air pollutants
  • European implementation of sustainable development goals
  • Innovation in technology and policy for smart and green transport.

Since January 2015, the European Commission has been evaluating the EU Birds and Habitats Directives, including their effectiveness and whether actions are proportionate to their objectives. This Fitness Check falls under a regular programme by the European Commission to review EU policy (REFIT).

In this regard, the Netherlands’ Presidency will organise an international conference on future-proof nature policy, providing an opportunity for representatives of member state governments, conservation organisations, the private sector and other stakeholders to discuss the obstacles they encounter when implementing nature policy.


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