This Sunday 14 April the annual Devin-Bratislava run will take place in Slovakia. A team of approximately 200 people will run for Europe and Clean Air, with the participation and support of the European Investment Bank, the European Parliament and the European Commission.
The runners will highlight the importance of the quality of the air we breathe, the impact pollution has on our health, as well as promote democratic engagement in the European elections through communication action thistimeimvoting.eu. The European team will bring together runners from national authorities, European institutions, the diplomatic community, politicians, candidates for EP elections, stakeholders, students and the general public.
EU Commissioner for Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Karmenu Vella said: “I wish all the participants running on Sunday for #CleanAirEU and #thistimeimvoting the best of luck. They will be carrying the message that good quality air, just like a good quality EU, depends on our participation. Air quality in Slovakia is still a cause for concern. The Commission is ready to help Member States. Remember, even a marathon starts with a first step."
In November 2017 the European Commission organised the first EU Clean Air Forum in Paris. This Forum concluded with a clear message: solutions to improve air quality further are within reach, but to tackle air pollution successfully, we need to work together across economic sectors, across decision-making levels, across policy areas and together with all stakeholders and citizens. This was again highlighted in the second Environmental Implementation Review published by the Commission last week. The European Commission continues to be committed to more cooperation on cleaner air and is organising, in close collaboration with the Ministry of Environment of the Slovak Republic , the second EU Clean Air Forum in Bratislava on 28 and 29 November 2019.
This Forum will focus on three themes:
- air quality and energy;
- air quality and agriculture;
- clean air funding mechanisms.
In the European Union, air quality has generally improved over the last decades, often thanks to joint efforts by the EU and national, regional and local authorities. Yet, the quality of life of many EU citizens remains significantly hampered. Air pollution directly causes both chronic and serious diseases such as asthma, cardiovascular problems and lung cancer. It is the number one environmental cause of premature deaths in Europe. According to the European Environment Agency, air pollution is responsible for more than 400 000 premature deaths in the EU every year, a startling indication of the magnitude of the health impacts, especially on vulnerable groups, such as children and people suffering from respiratory diseases.
In the last EP elections in 2014, Slovakia experienced the lowest participation in the whole EU. The communication campaign thistimeimvoting.eu encourages a higher voter turnout at the European Elections. The European Parliament elections in Slovakia will take place on Saturday, May 25.
#EUprotects campaign – story on air pollution
12 April 2019