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EU environmental policy. Themes. Climate change Biodiversity Environmental health Sustainable development. Climate change. D ecision of December 2008: approval of a comprehensive package of emission-cutting measures .

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Eu environmental policy
EU environmentalpolicy


  • Climate change

  • Biodiversity

  • Environmentalhealth

  • Sustainabledevelopment

Climate change
Climate change

  • Decision of December 2008: approval of a comprehensive package of emission-cuttingmeasures.

    = a plan to reducegreenhousegases (atleast 20% by 2020, comparedwith 1990 levels), raiserenewableenergy'sshare of the market (20%) and cutoverallenergyconsumption (by 20%)

The emissions trading system
The emissionstrading system

= A system rewardingcompaniesthatreducetheir CO2 emissions and penalisesthosethatexceedlimits.

Introducedin 2005,concerns about 12,000 factories and plants responsible for about half the EU’semissions of CO2, the main gasblamed for global warming.

= Limitson the amount of carbondioxideemitted by energy-intensive industries (power generation and steel and cementmakers… and progressivelyother industries such as airlinesand petrochemicalcompanies ).

Companiesemittingmore CO2 thantheirquotahave to buysparepermitsfrom more efficient companies.


Objective: stoppingthe decline of endangeredspecies and habitats in the EU by 2010

Policiesand legislation:

- Natura 2000 = a set of areas where plant and animal species and their habitats must beprotected (includesmore than 26,000 sites across the EU)

Environmental health

  • EU rulesestablishinghealth-based standards for pollutants

    => EU countries are required to monitor manydifferentpollutants and to take action if levelsexceedsafelimits.

  • Since 2008: relugation fixing limitson emissions of fine particlesreleasedby cars and trucks (in force in 2011). Member states must reduceexposure to fine particles in urban areas by an average 20% by 2020 (as compared to 2010 levels).

Reach r egistration e valuation a uthorisation and restriction of ch emical substances
REACHRegistration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemical substances

  • Regulation in force since2007

  • REACH’s primary aim is “to ensure a high level of protection of human health and the environment”

  • Burden of proof on industry, which has to collect or generate the data necessary to ensure the safe use of chemicals. This data will be publicly available through the central database held at theEuropeanChemicalAgency

  • REACH also provides rules for phasing out and substitution of the most dangerous chemicals

Sustainable development

  • 2001: first EU sustainabledevelopmentstrategy

  • Closelytied to climate change and energypolicy, the plan (uptdated in 2006) relies on : education, research and public fundingto achievesustainable production and consumption patterns.

  • 2009: the commission proposed a package of measures to promoteeco-friendlyproducts, includinggreater use of energyefficiencylabels (ex : labels on washing machines).

  • 2011: European Commission's Roadmap for a resource-efficient Europe (Communication adopted on 20 September 2011)

Consumer policy

Consumer policy

The role of consumers in the internal market s perspective
The role of consumers in the internalmarket’s perspective

The internalmarketrequiresconsumer confidence in cross-bordertransactions

=> Consumers must have the right information on products and services, and know they haverightsin case transactions go wrong

=> EU-widerules are created (harmonization) to guaranteeconsumers a samelevel of protection


  • The marketrequiresuniformity of the standards

  • Consumers’ protection isbetter off with minimum standards of protection (national legislationcanbe more protective in somemember states)

Protection of consumers safety
Protection of consumers’ safety

  • Specificsafetyrequirements for toys, personal protective equipment, electricalappliances, cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, food, lighters, machinery and recreationalcraft (= common standards).

  • ruleson the recall of defectiveproducts andnotifications of dangerous or unsafeproducts (more than 2 000 eachyear -RAPEX).

Protection of other consumers interests
Protection of otherconsumers’ interests


  • fair business practices

  • misleading and comparative advertising

  • priceindicators and labelling

  • unfaircontractterms

  • distance and doorstepselling

  • timeshares and package holidays

  • travellers’ rights

  • nutritional and health claims

  • novelfoods

  • foodingredients and packaging…

Consumers interests justify liberalization of public services
Consumers’interestsjustifyliberalization of public services

Transport, electricity and gas, telecommunications and post

Notion of a «universalaccess » to high-quality services ataffordableprices

Canthe objective befullfilledthroughliberalization ?

Most recent objectives for consumer protection
Most recent objectives for consumer protection


For financialservices and electroniccommerce:

the Commission has proposedguidelines for good on-line business practices and rules for all aspects of consumer credit and non-cashpayments.

Enforcing the rules
Enforcing the rules

  • Right to redressif EU rules are not implementedcorrectly

  • EU regulationdetermining the competentcourt

  • Commission Proposal for out-of-courtsettlements

  • Anotherway: consumerscanseekredressthrough the European Consumer Centres Network (ECC-Net).