Where: Justus Lipsius building, Brussels
Topic: Environment, consumers and health
Organiser: Council of the EU
The Council will have an orientation debate on the proposal for a decision on a general Union Environment Action Programme to 2020 "Living well, within the limits of our planet", recently presented by the Commission as the successor to the 6th Environment Action Programme (EAP) which expired in July 2012.
The proposal aims to step up the contribution of environment policy to the transition towards a resource-efficient, low-carbon economy in which natural capital is protected and enhanced, and the health and well-being of citizens are safeguarded. The programme provides a framework for environment policy till 2020, setting nine priority objectives for the EU and its member states to attain.
With a view to preparing the Environment Council is contribution to the Spring European Council in March 2013, ministers will have an exchange of views on "greening the European Semester", on the basis of the Commission communication on the Annual Growth Survey 2013. In this third "European Semester" of policy coordination, the Commission identifies five economic and social priorities where national and EU efforts should concentrate and two of these priorities touch upon environmental issues:
The Council is also due to adopt conclusions on the blueprint to safeguard Europe's water resources, underlining the need for a better implementation of the current water legislation and increased integration of water policy objectives into other policy areas, such as the Common Agriculture Policy (CAP) and the Cohesion Policy. The conclusions also call on the EU and its member states to ensure the sustainability of all activities that impact water, thereby contributing to secure the availability of good-quality water, which will also have positive effects on halting the loss of biodiversity and the degradation of ecosystems.
A presidency briefing, agenda and background note will be published on the Council website closer to the date of the meeting.