New Year, new focus: EEA priorities in 2014
Image © mezzoblue
Late last year the European Union approved its 7th Environmental Action Programme (EAP), which sets out the priorities of environmental policymaking in the EU for 2014-2020. Entitled 'Living well, within the limits of our planet', it puts a particular focus on ensuring a healthy environment and resource efficient economy for human well-being.
Staying within the limits of the planet’s natural resources will require a new approach to the way we use resources in the EU. In 2014, the priority environment focus will be on resource use, including using resources more efficiently – for example, by improving recycling rates and waste treatment. This theme replaces the 2013 theme, the ‘Year of Air’.
As part of the theme, several concepts will frame EEA work throughout 2014. One is the ‘circular economy,’ in which waste is seen as an important resource to be fed back into the human economy. Another is the ‘green economy’, interpreted as an economic system which simultaneously uses resources more efficiently, enhances human well-being and maintains natural systems. Work will focus on what these concepts mean for Europe in practice, including the longer-term transitions needed to realise them.
This year is also the start of a new chapter for the EEA, marking the start of a new Multi Annual Work Programme, running from 2014 to 2018. The EEA will work to improve knowledge in areas related to EU environmental and climate policies already in place, to monitor progress towards the objectives and targets in Europe’s 2020 agenda, as well as to support Europe’s ambition to make the transition towards a low carbon, resource efficient and ecosystem resilient society by 2050. It will do so working together with its networks and many other partners. A major undertaking in 2014 will be preparation of the State and Outlook of the European Environment Report 2015, to be published in early 2015.