European Commission welcomes the 7th Environment Action Programme becoming law

Today the Council and European Parliament signed into law the Decision on a 7th EU Environment Action Programme, which will guide EU policy action on environment and climate policy for the next seven years. This brings to a successful conclusion a process that started 12 months ago when the Commission tabled its proposal.   

On this occasion, Commissioner Potočnik said: I am very pleased that the new EU Environment Action Programme is now formally approved and will enter into force still this year. The fact that the co-legislators agreed to increase the level of ambition in quite a number of areas shows that environment and climate challenges remain priorities for the EU. We all need to realise that tackling Europe’s environment and climate challenges is not only essential in its own right but is also in fact an opportunity for long-term growth and societal wellbeing. I will work closely with the Member States, the European Parliament, regional and local authorities, business and NGOs to start implementing the 7th EAP so we can reach the ambitious goals we have set ourselves by 2020.

Commissioner Hedegaard said: “I welcome the signing into law of the 7th Environmental Action Programme by the Council and the Parliament. This is another step forward in making the EU a resource-efficient, green and competitive low-carbon economy. To do so, we have already put in place climate goals for 2020 and set to reduce our GHG emissions by 80-95% by 2050. A next key step in this process will also be the agreement on the 2030 climate and energy package and reaching a new legally binding agreement in 2015. We are also working closely with the Member States, industry and other sectors to facilitate the needed climate investments in the medium- and long-term.”


The 7th Environment Action Programme was proposed by the Commission in November 2012 (IP/12/1271). It identifies nine priority objectives for the period up to 2020, including:

  • Protecting nature and strengthening ecological resilience
  • Boosting sustainable, resource-efficient, low-carbon growth, and
  • Effectively addressing environment-related threats to health.

The Programme sets out a framework to support the achievement of these objectives through, inter alia, better implementation of EU environment law, state of the art science, securing the necessary investments in support of environment and climate change policy, and improving the way that environmental concerns and requirements are reflected in other policies.

The programme also aims to boost efforts to help EU cities become more sustainable, and improve the EU’s capacity to meet regional and global environment and climate challenges.

The programme, the seventh of its kind, builds on the significant achievements of 40 years of EU environment policy, and draws on a number of recent strategic initiatives in the field of environment, including the Resource Efficiency Roadmap, the 2020 Biodiversity Strategy and the Low Carbon Economy Roadmap. It should secure the commitment of EU institutions, Member States, regional and local administrations and other stakeholders to a common agenda for environment policy action up to 2020.

For more information:

Commission webpage on the proposal for a new EU Environment Action Programme to 2020:


Source: European Commission Press Room