The 6th EAP introduced the concept of Thematic Strategies, to be developed by the Commission by the third year of operation of the 6th EAP.
The Thematic Strategies are a modernisation of EU environment policy-making, taking a broader, strategic approach. The Thematic Strategies build on the existing EU legal/regulatory framework and include new knowledge on threats to human health and the environment. They focus on an integrated approach (the effects of decisions in one policy area which has consequences on the others) and on implementation issues.
The Thematic Strategies can be seen as key elements of the Commission's Better Regulation strategy: they are all accompanied by a thorough impact assessment, assessing the economic, social and environmental impacts of different policy options, extensive stakeholder consultations were held and they aim, where possible, at simplifying the existing regulatory framework.
Thematic Strategies cover the following fields :
The Thematic Strategies will be reviewed in 2010.