Local and regional authorities are crucial actors in environmental protection, as they are often responsible for rule-making and undertaking investments, and can have inspection and oversight functions.
Therefore, local and regional authorities must be considered as genuine partners within the governance structure underpinning the implementation of EU environment law and participate jointly with the other tiers of government in the formulation of EU policies, not least through the Committee of the Regions.
The CoR Opinion on the role of local and regional authorities in future environmental policy (CdR 164/2010 final) underlined the necessity of involving them in all phases of EU policy, and suggested to set up a regular forum to address regional and local problems and solutions in the application of EU environment law.
The Technical Platform became one of the actions referred to in the European Commission's 2012 Communication on better implementation in the area of environment (COM(2012)95 final).
The General Union Environment Action Programme to 2020 "Living well, within the limits of our planet" (7th EAP), as decided by the European Parliament and the Council, gives a renewed impetus to implementation.
The Technical Platform is explicitly referred to in point 59 of the 7th Environment Action Programme. This places it on a sound and long-term basis. The CoR and DG Environment services are currently exploring how to further enhance the platform on the basis of this reinforced mandate.
The Technical Platform is a new forum set up by the Committee of the Regions' Commission for Environment, Climate Change and Energy (ENVE) and DG ENV aimed at fostering dialogue on local and regional problems and solutions in the application of EU environment law. It was launched by Commissioner Janez Potočnik and CoR Vice-President Mercedes Bresso on 5 December 2012.
The objectives of the Technical Platform are:
to provide technical input to the work of the CoR's ENVE commission, thereby reinforcing an evidence-based approach in its ongoing work in this field.
The Technical Platform is mainly aimed at bringing together practitioners from local and regional administrations in the European Union, experts and stakeholders, EU officials as well as interested CoR members.
In practice, the work of the technical platform is carried out through meetings co-organised by the Secretariat of the Committee of the Regions' Commission for Environment, Climate Change and Energy and the Directorate-General for the Environment of the European Commission, in cooperation with relevant ad-hoc partners on issues of the agenda.
Up to two meetings of the Technical Platform are to be held each year on thematic issues of common interest. These meetings will normally be held during or in association with the EU Green Week and the EU Open Days.
In November 2012, the CoR adopted an Opinion "Towards a 7th Environment Action Programme: Better Implementation of EU environment law".
In November 2016, the CoR adopted an Outlook Opinion on "EU environment law: improving reporting and compliance". This opinion was requested by the European Commission from the CoR.
On 27 May 2016, the European Commission launched the new initiative of the Environmental Implementation Review (EIR).
According to the EIR Communication, the European Commission 'will also liaise with the Committee of the Regions in respect of the […] key horizontal findings in order to engage with local and regional representatives in raising awareness about specific actions, for example through the Technical Platform for Cooperation on the Environment. The outcomes of these dialogues will inform the Commission's follow up of each EIR cycle.
The 8th meeting took place on 12 October 2016 during the European Week of Regions and Cities (EWRC) 2016. It consisted of a workshop held at the Committee of the Regions on 'EU LIFE programme: A chance for green business, innovation and job creation preserving the environment'.
Hervé Martin, European Commission: The role of the EU LIFE programme for local and regional authorities and its ongoing mid-term evaluation
Tomasz Pietrusiak, Malopolska Region, Poland: The benefit of the new LIFE Environment integrated projects: the example of Małopolska Region Air quality Plan
Tom Andries, Flanders Region, Belgium: The benefit of the new LIFE Nature integrated projects: the example of BNIP - Belgian Nature Integrated Project for Natura 2000
Lisa Labriga, Association of Cities and Regions for Recycling and Sustainable Resource Management (ACR+): How LIFE projects can make a difference for a circular economy – some project examples
Liliana Chamudis-Varan, Plastics Technology Centre AIMPLAS, Valencia Region, Spain: LIFE projects contributing to boost a regional circular economy – the example of the Valencia Region
Michele Pancaldi, Municipality of Ferrara, Italy: LOWaste - LOcal Waste Market for second life products (LIFE Project)
For the summary, of the workshop, see the proceedings on the OPEN DAYS 2016 website.
The 7th meeting on 13 September consisted of a seminar on 'The new Environmental Implementation Review (EIR): What's in it for regions and cities?', with the participation of EIR representatives of National Environment Ministries.
Summary of the seminar
Sirpa Hertell, Vice-Chair of the Committee of the Regions (CoR) Commission for Environment, Climate Change and Energy: Opening speech
Aurel Ciobanu-Dordea, Director Implementation & Support to Member States, DG Environment, European Commission A renewed search for effective solutions to deliver the benefits of our common environmental policies. First findings emerging from the country reports
Andres Jaadla, CoR member and rapporteur on "EU environment law: improving reporting and compliance": Better implementation of EU environmental policies – the Committee of the Regions' view
Martin Unfried, European Institute for Public Administration (EIPA): Introduction into root causes for insufficient implementation
Marie-Charlotte Delvaux, Wallonia Region, ENCORE: keynote presentation in breakout group A
Simon. Bingham, Scottish Environment Protection Agency/ IMPEL: keynote presentation in breakout group A
Zeno Danner, Baden-Württemberg Region: keynote presentation in breakout group B
Siim Vahtrus, EEB/ Justice & Environment: keynote presentation in breakout group B
Stephanos Ampatzis, European Commission: keynote presentation in breakout group C
Koos Meijer, Dutch Platform Regional Environmental Enforcement Agencies: keynote presentation in breakout group C
Sirpa Hertell: Closing speech
The 6th meeting took place on 14 October 2015 during the OPEN DAYS- European Week of Regions and Cities 2015. It will consisted of a workshop held at the Committee of the Regions on 'Regions open for green business: environment legislation as the driving force', co-organised with the Environmental Conference of the Regions of Europe (ENCORE).
For the summary of the workshop, see proceedings on the OPEN DAYS 2015 website.
The 5th meeting took place on 4 June 2015 during the EU Green Week. It consisted of a session on 'Natura 2000 as a source of regional identity and values'.
The 4th meeting took place on 8 October 2014 during the OPEN DAYS - European Week of Regions and Cities. It consisted of a workshop on 'Improving waste water management - support from the European Structural and Investment Funds'
The 3rd meeting took place on 4 June 2014 during the EU Green Week. It consisted of a session on 'Gearing up cities for the circular economy'.
The 2nd meeting took place on 9 October 2013 during the OPEN DAYS - European Week of Regions and Cities. It consisted of a workshop on 'Waste management systems - investing in line with the waste hierarchy'.
The 1st meeting took place on 6 June 2013 during EU Green Week. It consisted of two Green Week sessions on "Urban air quality - challenges and opportunities for European green cities" and on "New ways in governance to help cities improve air quality".
Session 8.1 - Urban air quality - challenges & opportunities for European green cities:
Session 9.1 - New ways in governance to help cities improve air quality:
Coinciding with the launch of the Technical Platform, a conference on "Driving better implementation in our cities and regions - a key element in the 7th Environment Action Programme" took place on 5 December 2012 in Brussels.
|CoR||Carsten Brauns||Carsten.Brauns@cor.europa.eu||tel.02-282 2585|
|DG Environment||Liam Cashmanfirstname.lastname@example.org||tel.02-2990325|