This year not only marks the 50th anniversary of the Treaty of Rome, but also 35 years of European Union environmental policy. The European Environment Agency celebrates the occasion by looking back at the last 50 years and reflecting on the environmental challenges that lie ahead. On 25 March 1957, six countries signed the Treaty of Rome, establishing the European Economic Community. Their aim was to create a Common Market in order to secure prosperity, peace and stability. Environment was not part of the policy package. Today, sustainable development and environmental protection are among the core values of the European Union, which now counts 27 Member States.
Jacqueline McGlade, Executive Director, looks back and ahead
Our natural environment is a key component of our health and wealth. However, our recent assessments show that the majority of habitats and species in Europe have an unfavourable conservation status ...