Magazine Environment for Europeans
The new EU Action Plan for nature, people and the economy19/07/2017
The EU offers a framework to protect biodiversity, wildlife and nature that is unparalleled anywhere in the world.
EU invests for cleaner air27/06/2017
Recent reports of choking smog in European ‘hot spots’ and several high-profile infringement cases highlighted that EU air-quality standards need to be implemented. Better cooperation and mobilising funding for targeted projects can help Member States in this endeavour.
For the past 25 years, the EU Ecolabel has promoted trusted environmental excellence. Nearly 40 000 products carry this label which is proving its worth as an essential sustainability tool in the transition to the circular economy. A variety of events are planned to celebrate this milestone. Highlights include the eco pop-up venue ‘The SHOWROOM’, featuring the most iconic EU Ecolabel products and services.
The EU is building stronger relations with neighbouring countries to the south and east, using European project funding to boost sustainable development and protect the environment for local communities. One example is the integrated programme for the protection of northern Tunisia's Lake Bizerte against pollution. It will give access to better sanitation for over 10 000 people in towns and 30 000 in rural areas.
This year, the European Commission’s Green Week, the biggest annual event on Europe's environmental calendar, is dedicated to green jobs. From 29 May to 2 June, events in Brussels and across Europe focus on the new and innovative green skills and training required to build a circular economy. Find out more and be part of #EUGreenWeek 2017.
The European Union has some of the most advanced laws to protect the environment in the world. But what happens when they are not applied properly? The European Commission has acted to ensure citizens can claim justice when their environmental rights are not respected.
The Environmental Implementation Review (EIR), a new tool from the European Commission, aims to help EU Member States achieve the benefits of fully applying existing environmental standards in areas such as waste management, nature and biodiversity, air quality, and water quality and management.
Ladybird Farm, in southern Hungary, is a leisure park with a difference. Offering a wide range of attractions for adults and children alike, it meets 80 % of its energy needs from sustainable sources. One of its most original features is allowing visitors to 'pay' part of their entrance fee in recyclable household waste, such as paper or plastic, encouraging people to understand the value of resources and what a circular economy means. Its pioneering approach has earned its owners a 2016-2017 European Business Award for the Environment.
Oceans, which make up 70 % of our planet, are threatened by pollution, illegal fishing, piracy and human trafficking. Ten million tonnes of litter end up in the oceans every year – that is a truckload a minute. Every single piece of plastic takes centuries to decompose. With a new agenda for the oceans, the EU aims to ensure that our oceans are secure, clean and sustainably managed, and to strengthen international ocean governance.
Many young Europeans are concerned about the future of the environment. The European Solidarity Corps, a new EU volunteering scheme will offer young Europeans the opportunity to transform their passion and goodwill into meaningful action.
According to a comprehensive Commission evaluation, bird populations, other protected species and natural habitats in Europe would be much worse off without protection from the Birds and Habitats Directives. While the Directives are fit for purpose, their implementation needs to be better and more uniform. In light of these findings, the European Commission is now preparing an Action Plan, to be published in 2017, providing comprehensive measures to substantially improve nature protection on the ground.