Clean air is essential for our health and that of the environment. To this end, the EU sets standards to avoid the build-up of excessive pollution concentrations. As part of the European Green Deal, the EU is revising these standards, to align them more closely with the recommendations of the World Health Organization (the latest Air Quality Guidelines of the WHO have been published on 22 September 2021). The EU also aims to improve overall EU legislation for clean air, building on the lessons learnt from the 2019 evaluation (‘fitness check’) of the Ambient Air Quality Directives.

The objective of the initiative is to further enhance the EU air quality legislation to avoid, prevent or reduce the harmful effects of air pollution on human health and the environment, in line with the European Green Deal’s zero pollution ambition. The Commission has published an Inception Impact Assessment , to guide the underpinning work to assess the impacts of a possible revision of the Ambient Air Quality Directives, planned for 2022.

The Commission is planning to consult citizens and a broad range of stakeholders in the process, as detailed in the consultation strategy.

The planned consultation activities include:

  • an open public consultation allowing the interested public and stakeholders to express their views;
  • targeted stakeholder consultation, addressed to selected stakeholders in all Member States and at EU level;
  • stakeholder meetings in order to assist in identifying and confirming the issues for the impact assessment and to receive final feedback that would assist in its completion.

For more information, visit the Have your say portal - and see the terms of reference for the support study and see this summary slide-set (status May 2021).

News & updates

Take part in the open public consultation until 16 December

The open public consultation is ongoing from 23 September to 16 December 2021. All citizens and the wider community of stakeholders are welcome to express their views. Take part by clicking on this link.

First stakeholder meeting took place on 23 September

This first stakeholder meeting was organised in order to assist in identifying and confirming the issues for the impact assessment, and gather initial views on the ambition level for the revision of the Ambient Air Quality Directives.

Documents related to the meeting are available here:

 

Expert survey results on air quality monitoring, modelling and plans

As part of the ongoing process on ‘Air Quality – revision EU Rules’, the European Commission is working on strengthening the provisions on air quality monitoring, modelling and plans to help local authorities achieve clean air. A specific contract on “Strengthening of air quality monitoring, modelling and plans under the Ambient Air Quality Directives” supports this.

A targeted expert survey solicited views about the provisions governing air quality monitoring, modelling and plans, the interpretation and implementation of these provisions, and the administrative burden they pose. This targeted expert survey was carried out in the period of 1 February to 1 March 2021 – and its results are available here.