Research fills gaps in our knowledge about how human activities impact on the environment. With that knowledge, we can assess the state of the environment and map out ways to correct imbalances and seek agreement on bringing in the necessary safeguards and improvements.
The importance of science for policy-making is spelled out in the new General Union Environment Action Programme (7th EAP). Entitled "Living well, within the limits of our planet", it will guide environment policy development up to 2020. It's core purpose is to protect, conserve and enhance the Union's natural capital; to turn the Union into a resource-efficient, green and competitive low-carbon economy; and to safeguard the Union's citizens from environment-related pressures and risks to health and well-being. One of the Programme's priority objectives is to ensure that EU citizens and policy-makers benefit from state of the art science where progress on environment is concerned.
From 2014-2020, the Commission will spend over €70 billion on Research and Innovation activities under the Horizon 2020 Programme, much of it connected either directly or indirectly with a better EU environment. Information about environmental research funded by the EU can be found below as well as on the Research & Innovation (Directorate-General 's website).