Currently, the EU’s priority areas for environmental protection have been set out under the 6th Environmental Action Program (EAP) for a 10-year period, 2012 being the final year. On 12 March, a public consultation process started, in preparation for the 7th EU Environmental Action Program in order to collect the views of all stakeholders at EU and national level on the EU’s environmental policy priorities up to 2020.
By the end of the current year, a final 7th EAP for the Community is expected to be adopted and published. However, after the Sixth Community EAP assessment and after the Commission had adopted the new strategy last year, some future environmental priorities were set out, which are to be included in the next EAP. These have been defined as follows:
- Better implementation and further strengthening of current environmental priorities in climate change; nature and biodiversity; natural resources use and waste; environmental, health and quality of life.
- Dedicated management of natural capital and ecosystem services; the management of natural capital (e.g. non-renewable resources, biodiversity) involves decoupling economic growth not only from extensive resource use but also from environmental impacts within Europe and globally.
- Coherent integration of environmental considerations across other sectoral policy areas will help increase the efficient use of natural resources and reduce common pressures on the environment that originate from economic activities.
- Transformation to a green economy, which will address the long-term viability of natural capital within Europe.
One positive development in Romania in relation to environmental protection is the ongoing transposition of existing EU environmental regulations into domestic laws. However, the implementation and enforcement process seems to be slow, raising some “infringement” risks for the Government of Romania (GOR).
Generally, European environmental priorities have been transposed under the “National Sustainable Development Strategy (NSDS) of Romania for 2013-2020-2030”, approved by the GOR at the end of 2008. Thus, some of the main key challenges and priorities for the short, medium and long term have been set out as follows:
- Climate change and clean energy.
- Sustainable consumption/production and waste management.
- Conservation and management of natural resources.
Geta Diaconu, Director Environmental Services