The overarching objective of the Environmental Implementation Review (EIR) is to support the delivery of the objectives of existing EU environmental policies and legislation. The EIR process should be inclusive and participative, flexible and in synergy with existing work on environmental implementation.
Implementation of EU rules is in the first place a task for the EU Member States themselves, but the Commission has the responsibility to oversee the application of the common rules agreed by the European Parliament and by the Member States within the Council. Enforcement remains ultimately a significant tool to ensure the proper implementation of legal provisions, but targeted compliance-promotion actions addressed to the Member States, have been initiated for several years in all sectors of the environmental acquis. Such technical, focused support remains crucial and will be continued, but should be integrated into a systemic approach meant to tackle cross-sectoral aspects, offer a comprehensive view of achievements and challenges, and define the scale and range of priorities requiring not only technical but also political attention.
In this context, the Environmental Implementation Review (EIR) initiative aims to improve the common knowledge about existing implementation gaps on EU environmental policy and law in each Member State; provide new solutions complementary to legal enforcement; address the underlying root and often cross-sectoral causes of these gaps; and stimulate exchanges of good practices.
Based on the diagnostic, the Commission would be ready to accompany the Member States' own efforts with technical and financial support and if necessary, with expertise underpinning structural reforms.
The EIR will therefore be conducted by the Commission to: