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Consultation on the EU environment policy priorities for 2020: Towards a 7th EU Environment Action Programme

Policy field(s)



Target group(s)


Interested stakeholders, general public

Period of consultation


                        From 12.03.2012  to 01.06.2012

Objective of the consultation


Environment Action Programmes have guided the development of EU environment policy since the early seventies. During this period, environment legislation was consolidated and completed to cover almost all environmental media, with the exception of soil. With the 6th EAP in its final year, the Commission continues to pursue an ambitious environment policy aimed at ensuring a high level of environmental protection and guided by the principles enshrined in the Treaty of precaution, prevention, rectifying pollution at source and 'polluter pays'. 

Against this background, the Commission is considering how a 7th Environment Action Programme could best provide added value in the rapidly evolving environment policy context.

The purpose of this consultation is to collect the views of all stakeholders, at EU and national level, and the public at large on the environment policy priorities up to 2020. Informed opinions are sought on the priority areas to be addressed and on the most effective tools for the EU to employ in addressing the challenges described in the consultation document.

How to submit your contribution


We welcome contributions from citizens, organisations and public authorities.

  • If you are answering this consultation as a citizen, please click here to submit your contribution.
  • If you are answering this consultation on behalf of an organisation, please click here to submit your contribution.
  • If you are answering this consultation on behalf of a public authority, please click here to submit your contribution.

Received contributions will be published on the Internet. It is important to read the specific privacy statement attached to this consultation for information on how your personal data and contribution will be dealt with.

View the consultation document


Before completing your contribution, you are advised to read the background consultation document.

View the questionnaire

Reference documents and other, related consultations


In preparing its proposal for a 7th Environment Action Programme, the Commission is building on the challenges highlighted in the European Environment Agency's State of the Environment Report 2010, the conclusions of the 6th EAP Final Assessment, including the assessment performed by an external organisation, and the progress Report on the implementation of the European Environment and Health Action Plan 2004-2010.

The 7th EAP should be a strategic document providing an overarching framework for recent environment policy initiatives and setting out priority objectives to be attained over the period up to 2020, in the context of the Europe 2020 Strategy.

As part of the 2012 Commission Work Programme, a Roadmap for a 7th Environment Action Programme was published.

Stakeholders were invited to express their views on the final assessment of the 6th Environment Action Programme and the next steps in a stakeholder consultation meeting on 29 March 2011. Stakeholders were also invited to provide written inputs and all contributions received are available here.

Other EU institutions are also contributing to the debate surrounding the priorities that should guide EU environment policy to 2020. Details can be found here.

In parallel with the discussions on the opinions of the other EU institutions, over the last 18 months various public stakeholder events on priorities for a 7th EAP have been held. They include  events organised by the Belgian Presidency of the Council of the European Union, the Danish Presidency of the Council of the European Union, and the European Parliament.

The European Commission has consulted stakeholders recently on a number of themes addressed in the paper prepared for this consultation, including resource efficiency, low-carbon economy, biodiversity, water, and sustainable consumption and production (see consultations results or those still open here. Although some overlap between these various consultations is inevitable, in order to avoid duplication the questions set out in this questionnaire are deliberately broad and strategic in nature.

Contact details


responsible service

European Commission, Environment Directorate-General, Unit D.2




postal address

European Commission
Environment Directorate-General
Rue de la Loi 200, 1049 Brussels

Number of responses received to this consultation



View the contributions


In the interests of transparency, organisations have been invited to provide the public with relevant information about themselves by registering in the Interest Representative Register and subscribing to its Code of Conduct. If the organisation is not registered, the submission is published separately from the registered organisations.
All contributions will be published after the end of the consultation period, unless otherwise specified by the contributor.

Results of consultation and next steps


View the results of the consultation.

Protection of personal data

Specific privacy statement