On 20th November 2013, the Council of the EU and the 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 upcoming seven years. The 7th Environment Action Programme (EAP) identifies nine priority objectives for the period up to 2020, among which te following:
- "Protecting nature and strengthening ecological resilience;
- Boosting sustainable, resource-efficient, low-carbon growth; and
- Effectively addressing environment-related threats to health."
The EAP is confident that those objectives can be achieved through better implementation of EU environment law, as well as better integration of environmental requirements in other policies.
The Council COREPER will meet on 22nd November 2013 in order to discuss the mandate for the second trilogue in-between the Council of the EU, the European Parliament and the European Commission regarding the revision of the Environmental Impact Assessment Directive.
The European Parliament adopted a report in plenary vote on 8th October 2013, including amendments that foresee the extension of the scope of the Directive. As a result, industrial projects would now be required to carry out environmental impact assessments for exploration activities, all ‘open-air’ mining activities (regardless of the size), and demolition of projects. It also foresees the retroactive application of the revised directive.
Trilogues now aim to reach an agreement at first reading in-between the European Parliament and the Council. If they reach a compromise, the compromise text will be subject to a final vote in the European Parliament in early 2014.