Integration of the environmental dimension in developing countries
The European Union lays down the procedure for allocating Community economic and technical aid to promote the full integration of the environmental dimension in cooperation projects between the Community and developing countries (DCs). As of 1 January 2007 those rules have been replaced by the Regulation establishing a financing instrument for development cooperation.
Regulation (EC) No 2493/2000 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 7 November 2000 on measures to promote the full integration of the environmental dimension in the development process of developing countries.
1. Because of the direct impact they have on economic development, the depletion of natural resources and the impairment of the environment may thwart efforts to alleviate poverty in developing countries.
2. This has been recognised in several agreements concluded, with the Community's participation, in the framework of the United Nations (Framework Convention on climate change, Convention on biological diversity, etc.) and the OECD (Shaping the 21st century strategy).
3. The Regulation lays down the rules under which cooperation projects initiated by various players (governments, public bodies, regional authorities, traditional or local communities, cooperatives, international organisations, non-governmental organisations and private stakeholders) in developing countries and intended to promote sustainable development may receive financial aid and technical assistance from the Community.
4. Activities eligible for aid and assistance address, in particular:
- global environmental issues (climate change, desertification, biological diversity, etc.);
- transboundary issues (air, water and soil pollution);
- the environmental impact of the integration of developing countries into the world economy and of their macroeconomic and sectoral policies;
- the inclusion in development cooperation projects of environmental considerations for evaluating the sustainable management of such activities;
- conservation of biological diversity, sustainable management and use of natural resources, and fair and equitable sharing of the benefits drawn from these resources;
- issues relating to fishing and the management of coastal zones, estuaries and wetlands;
- urban environment problems (waste, noise and air pollution, water quality, etc.);
- sustainable production and use of energy;
- sustainable production and use of chemical products;
- environmental problems related to industrial activities;
- sustainable patterns of production and consumption.
5. They may take the following forms:
- pilot projects in the field;
- schemes to build up the institutional and operational capacities of actors in the development process (governments, civil society, NGOs, etc.);
- drawing up of policies, plans, strategies and programmes for sustainable development;
- formulation of guidelines, operating manuals and instruments aimed at promoting sustainable development (databases on the Internet);
- support for the development and application of environment assessment tools;
- inventory, accounting and statistical work to improve the quality of environmental data;
- making local populations and key actors in the development process aware of sustainable development issues;
- promotion of trade in environment-friendly products;
- support for multilateral processes.
6. In selecting activities eligible for support, particular attention is given to the following criteria:
- linkage with the overall objective of eradicating poverty;
- local initiatives involving innovative measures;
- active involvement of indigenous communities;
- the specific role and contribution of women in the sustainable management and use of natural resources;
- consistency with other development cooperation programmes;
- strengthening of regional cooperation on sustainable development;
- internalisation of environmental costs.
7. For each cooperation activity, the Community requires a contribution from the actors concerned according to their means. Community financial support is provided in the form of non-refundable aid. Such funding may cover technical assistance, studies, training, supplies, minor works, missions and small grant funds.
8. The Regulation emphasises that participation in invitations to tender and the award of contracts is open to all persons and all companies of the Member States and of the recipient country on equal terms. It may also be extended to other developing countries and, in exceptional cases, to other third countries. A guide setting out the criteria applicable in the selection of projects will be published and provided to interested parties.
9. The Commission is responsible for decisions and management relating to projects undertaken pursuant to the Regulation and will take all necessary coordination measures. It reports to the European Parliament every two years on strategic guidelines and priorities for the years ahead. It must also submit an annual report to Parliament and the Council summarising the activities financed during that year and evaluating the implementation of the Regulation. The Commission must regularly inform the Member States of the activities that have been approved, stating their cost and nature, the country concerned and the cooperation partners.
10. In the case of projects involving financing of EUR 2.5 million or more, the Commission is assisted in its management tasks and its decision-making by the geographically determined committee responsible for development.
11. The budget for applying the Regulation over the period 2000-2006 is EUR 93 million.
12. As of 1 January 2007 the Regulation has been repealed and replaced by the Regulation establishing a financing instrument for development cooperation (see "Related acts" below).
13. In Council Regulation (EC) No 722/97 on environmental measures in developing countries in the context of sustainable development [Official Journal L 108, 25.4.1997], the Council lays down a framework for Community aid to help developing countries integrate the environmental dimension into their development process. As Regulation (EC) No 722/1997 ceased to apply on 31 December 1999, the purpose of Regulation (EC) No 1905/2006 is to continue the Community action on the basis of experience acquired during the implementation of the former Regulation.
|Act||Entry into force - Date of expiry||Deadline for transposition in the Member States||Official Journal|
|Regulation (EC) No 2493/2000||18.11.2000||-||OJ L 288, 15.11.2000|