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Process leading to the 7th EAP

The 7th Environment Action Programme (EAP) builds on the significant achievements of 40 years of EU environment policy, and draws on a number of recent strategic initiatives in the field of environment, including the Resource Efficiency Roadmap, the 2020 Biodiversity Strategy, the Communication on improving delivery of benefits from EU environment services, and the Low Carbon Economy Roadmap. It secures the commitment of EU institutions, Member States, regional and local administrations and other stakeholders to a common agenda for environment policy action up to 2020.

While many EU Member States are struggling to cope with the economic crisis, the attendant need for structural reforms offers new opportunities for the EU to move rapidly onto a more sustainable path. The 7th EAP points the way towards making the most of these opportunities.

General environment action programmes have guided the development of EU environment policy since the early seventies. The Sixth EU Environment Action Programme covered the period 2002-2012.

In preparing its proposal for a new Environment Action Programme, the Commission built on the challenges highlighted in the European Environment Agency's State of the Environment Report 2010 and the conclusions of the 6th EAP Final Assessment.  

Interinstitutional milestones

European Commission welcomes the 7th Environment Action Programme becoming law

Commissioner Janez Potočnik welcomes the trilogue agreement on the new Environment Action Programme to 2020

  • (Brussels, 20 June 2013) Statement by Environment Commissioner Janez Potočnik following the political agreement between the European Commission, the European Parliament and the Council on the new General Union Environment Action Programme to 2020, "Living well, within the limits of our planet".

Committee of the Regions

European Economic and Social Committee

The European Commission Proposal was presented in November 2012