On the 27th of May the Commission launched the Environmental Implementation Review – a new tool
to help deliver the benefits of EU environmental law and policies for businesses and citizens through better implementation.
Full implementation of EU environment legislation could save the EU economy €50 billion every year in health costs and direct costs to the environment. The Environmental Implementation Review (EIR) will give the first comprehensive overview on the state of play of how key environmental policies and laws have been implemented on the ground, mapping areas of excellence and implementation problems in 28 country specific reports.
In partnership with the Member States, the Environmental Implementation Review should help to anticipate problems and identify solutions and priorities before they become urgent or even irreversible. This will allow Member States to address better issues that need corrective action. In
addition, the EIR will make it easier for the Commission to better understand those issues that national authorities are faced with when applying Union law and policies. The first reports are expected to be published at the end of 2016, and from then on such reports will be presented every two years.
Karmenu Vella, EU Commissioner for Environment, Fisheries and Maritime Affairs, said: “The Environmental Implementation Review shows that grassroot efforts help environmental policies to take hold. For example, if EU water legislation were to be fully implemented, the combined annual benefits to society could reach EUR 2.8 billion. If Natura 2000 sites were to be fully manned and managed our biodiversity trends would improve. If air quality rules were followed we could reduce respiratory illness among our population. We need to step up our work with Member States to close the gaps. The earlier we act, the less costly it will be.”
The EIR initiative is in line with the Commission’s Better Regulation policy, which includes improving
implementation of existing legislation and policies. In this context, the Commission has also launched a large-scale Fitness Check of monitoring and reporting obligations under the existing EU environmental laws. Its aim is to reduce administrative burden for Member States and economic operators, and to develop more modern, efficient and effective monitoring and reporting for EU environment policy. It is expected to deliver its results in 2017.
While implementation is in the first place a task for the Member States themselves, the Commission,
as Guardian of the Treaties, oversees the application of legislation adopted by the European Union.
The Commission will work with the Committee of the Regions to bring in the experience of regions
- Communication: Delivering the benefits of EU environmental policies through a regular Environmental Implementation Review
- Website EIR: http://ec.europa.eu/environment/eir/index_en.htm
- Fitness Check on Reporting – Staff Working Document: http://ec.europa.eu/environment/legal/reporting/fc_overview_en.htm