The National Air Pollution Control Programme (Article 6 of the NEC Directive) is the main governance measure by which EU Member States must ensure that the reduction commitments for 2020 and 2030 are met. The first programme were due for 1 April 2019. Submitted programmes can be found on the Eionet Central Data Repository website.

Under Article 6(10) of the Directive, the Commission is required to specify the format of the programme by means of an implementing act: To this end, the Commission Implementing Decision (EU) 2018/1522 was adopted on 11 October 2018. It lays down a common format for national air pollution control programmes under Directive (EU) 2016/2284 and can be found here.

In order to help Member States prepare their programmes, the Commission has issued a Communication on Guidance for the development of National Air Pollution Control Programmes which can be found here.

The legal provisions which the guidance must take into account are primarily contained in Article 6 and Annex III part 1 of the Directive. These require that when drawing up, adopting and implementing the programme, Member States shall:

    • Assess the extent national emission sources are likely to have an impact on air quality nationally and in neighbouring Member States
    • Take account of the need to reduce air pollution emissions to reach compliance with the air quality objectives
    • Prioritise emission reduction measures for black carbon when taking measures to reduce PM2.5
    • Ensure coherence with other relevant plans and programmes established under EU or national legislation
    • Include the mandatory measures, and may include the optional measures, in Part 2 of Annex III (agricultural measures)

The Programme shall also at least cover:

    • the policy framework in which it has been developed (policy priorities, allocation of responsibilities, projected developments on business-as-usual)
    • the policy options considered and eventually adopted so as to comply with the reduction commitments (including how coherence with other policy areas is ensured)
    • the identified reduction trajectory between 2020 and 2030 (pursuant to Art. 4(1) and (2)).

The Commission is required to examine the national air pollution control programmes, including the trajectory between 2020 and 2030, in the light of the Directive's requirements. The results of this examination will be made public on this website.