Environmental Policy in the European Union

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In last decade we can notice a trend of constant growth of environmental pollution in Europe and also elsewhere in the world. Every year European Union produces around 2 billion tone of waste materials and the number is getting 10% bigger every year. There is also a constant increase of carbon dioxide emissions that are a result of increasing consumption of energy and cars. Majority of European Union members is fighting with utmost and more and more frequent weather conditions, heat waves and floods, that have disastrous outcomes - economic and also for people. Climate changes have influence on the environment and our everyday lives. Nineties were the most warm decade of century across the globe.

Because of all listed reasons the protection of environment is one of the most important and most demanding challenges placed in front of European Union to deal with. There have been many criticisms made that European Union is placing trade and economic development before care for environment. That is also one of the reasons why European Union decided to defend ratification of Kyoto protocol. This protocol places obligatory boundary values for emissions of greenhouse gases in industrialized states and is appointing new implementing mechanisms, founded on market laws, such as trading with emission coupons, common implementation and “mechanism of clean development”. Consequences of polluted environment are visibly reflected on health of all citizens of European Union. Especially in urban environment where noise, stress, air and water pollution are cause of many health conditions and allergies. Also on field of saving energy and dealing with waist a lot has been done already, however it is still necessary to look in to other numerous possibility's for reducing to health harmful effects of wast materials.

Environmental legislation of European Union is incredibly extensive. It is made of numerous directives, regulations and decrees. Approximately 90% of legislation of individual European Union members is derived by environmental legislation of European Union. European Union is trying its best to achieve permanent development, highest possible protection of environment, health, lives of people and complete treatment of all points of view of environment. European Union excepted first environmental action program on November 22, 1973. It was excepted in Council of ministers based on proposal of Committee and it represents first real attempt of designating basic principles and goals of environmental policy in European community. It also describes all the necessary activities from different fields of environment.

In period from year 2001 to 2010 the environmental policy of European Union is priorly oriented mainly on four key fields that are captured in sixth Environment action programme. The key field are climatic changes, second assembling captures nature and biotic diversity, third assembling captures indistinguishable connection between environment and health, fourth field of environmental action plan introduces natural source and treatment with waste materials. With determining priority tasks on field of protection of environmental European Union wants to ensure efficient reaction on global challenges in world level as on specific problems, with which we meet on the Community level and on national or local level.

This paper will try to introduce you to basic principles of policy of environmental protection in European Union and implementation of those in everyday life. At the beginning there will be a short historical overview of environmental policy. Next will be the representation of an empirical analysis based on five indicators that were devised by European Environment Agency. The main idea is to check if the care for environment is on a higher level in old members of European Union in comparison to new European union members (without Romania and Bulgaria because the data is not available...
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