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Publications

Short Convergence Guides for European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP) partners and Russia

Convergence of the environmental policies of the countries of the European Neighbourhood and Russia with principles and approaches developed in EU legislation is foreseen in the ENP Action Plans agreed with a number of ENP countries, and in the EU-Russia Common Economic Space Road-map.  This is expected to bring environmental benefits both to the countries concerned and the European region.

In order to help partner countries to realise these benefits, the European Commission has published six short guides on EU policies and legislation in English, French, Arabic and Russian.  They cover the following key areas:

  • Water quality, with a focus on the Water Framework Directive and related developments, such as the Flood Directive or the Groundwater Directive
  • Waste management, with a focus on the Waste Framework Directive
  • Air quality, with a focus on the Framework and Daughter Directives
  • Horizontal issues: Environmental Impact Assessment, Strategic Environmental Assessment, Access to Information, Participation in Decision-Making, and Reporting
  • Nature protection, with a focus on the Habitats and Birds Directives and the Natura 2000 network
  • Industrial pollution, including the Integrated Pollution Prevention and Control Directive

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The aim of the short guides is to provide information on EU policy and legislation by describing the policy background and explaining how progress can be achieved through the prioritisation and sequencing of activities. The guide shows how gradual or partial convergence with the EU environment policy and legislation can assist the ENP partner countries and Russia in addressing environmental concerns.

The policy guides set out the key principles and concepts of the relevant pieces of legislation and outlines the main policy instruments used within the EU. This includes summarising the main provisions of the legislation.

The guide also addresses the current general policy situation of Eastern and Mediterranean ENP partners and looks at potential challenges to convergence. Finally, it identifies useful steps to be taken to promote convergence. Since the individual situation in partner countries varies considerably, the guides take a general approach.