The European Commission has completed a fitness check of the two EU Ambient Air Quality (AAQ) Directives (Directives 2008/50/EC and 2004/107/EC).

These Directives set air quality standards and requirements to ensure that Member States monitor and/or assess air quality in their territory, in a harmonised and comparable manner. The fitness check also considers the corresponding Implementing Decision 2011/850/EU and Commission Directive (EU) 2015/1480.

The fitness check of the AAQ Directives drew on the experience in all Member States, focusing on the period from 2008 to 2018 (i.e. the period in which both Directives were in force). It covered all articles and provisions of the two Directives, looking at the role they have played in meeting the objectives. The fitness check evaluated the relevance, effectiveness, efficiency, coherence and EU added value of the AAQ Directives, in line with Better Regulation requirements.

What are the results of the Fitness Check?

The Commission finalised this fitness check in November 2019 publishing the following documents:

  • Commission Staff Working Document (SWD(2019) 427) English
  • Executive Summary (SWD(2019) 428) English Deutsch français

The work was underpinned by the evidence collected in the study ‘Supporting the fitness check of the EU Ambient Air Quality Directives (2008/50/EC, 2004/107/EC)’. The study is comprised of a final report and appendices with more details on the performed analysis:

In addition, an "EU Monitoring Regime Assessment" study was conducted to analyse the monitoring and assessment regimes as for the year 2015 in Austria – Belgium – Bulgaria – Croatia – Cyprus – Czechia – Denmark – Estonia – Finland – France – Germany – Greece – Hungary – Ireland – Italy – Latvia – Lithuania – Luxembourg – Malta – Netherlands – Poland – Portugal – Romania – Slovakia – Slovenia – Spain – Sweden – United Kingdom

The fitness check process was guided by the Fitness check of the EU Ambient Air Quality Directives Roadmap.

The fitness check allowed the public to participate effectively through a comprehensive stakeholder consultation. The consultation activities in this fitness check were guided by a consultation strategy and included the following events: 

  • Online Public Consultation to collect views and opinions including via a survey, was carried out in the period 8 May to 31 July 2018. A summary of received contributions can be found here.
  • Side event during EU Green Week on24 May 2018 provided the city-level perspective on what works well, and what does not, as regards EU Clean Air policies (a summary is available here)
  • First Stakeholder Workshop on 18 June 2018 collected stakeholders’ views on the main objectives of the Directives within the framework of the evaluation criteria. More information is available here.
  • Second Stakeholder Workshop was organised on 15 January 2019 to receive final feedback to assist in the completion of the evaluation. More information can be found here.

The synopsis report from the public consultation is available in all EU languages:
български čeština dansk Deutsch ελληνικά English español eesti keel suomi français hrvatski magyar italiano lietuvių kalba latviešu valoda Malti Nederlands polski português română slovenčina slovenščina svenska

The findings of the fitness check will inform further reflections on whether the AAQ Directives are fit for purpose and continue to provide the appropriate legislative framework to ensure protection from adverse impacts on, and risks to, human health and the environment.

The press release on the results of this fitness check is available here.