European air pollution policy has a long history and some notable success stories to its name. Prior to 2011-2013 review, the most recent wave of policy was launched in 2005 with the Thematic Strategy on Air Pollution designed to make substantial progress towards the long-term EU objective:
"to achieve levels of air quality that do not result in unacceptable impacts on, and risks to, human health and the environment."
This objective, first set in the 6th Environment Action Programme in 2002, was confirmed in the 7th Environment Action Programme.
In January 2011, the College of Commissioners gave a mandate for a comprehensive review of the EU air policy, recognising the pressing need for action to improve air quality, which is a shared responsibility requiring our joint efforts. The mandate also focused on a number of immediate policy measures that should be taken.
As part of the review, the Commission conducted a broad consultation process by organising a series of Stakeholder Expert Groups in the period 2011 to 2013, involving a wide range of participants from Member States, industry, NGOs and international stakeholders.
The first Stakeholder Expert Group was held on 6 and 7 June 2011, the second on 19 and 20 January 2012, the third on 21 June 2012, the fourth on 5 December 2012, and the fifth on 3 April 2013. Presentations and documents from all meetings are publically available through a dedicated CIRCA library.
Committee of the Regions Outlook Opinion on the review of EU Air policy.
A second online consultation focused on the policy options for the review of the EU Thematic Strategy on Air Pollution and related policies. A report of the second online consultation summarises this.