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The European Commission launched a public consultation to evaluate the 7th Environment Action Programme (7th EAP), which is the strategic document that guides EU policy to reduce pollution in the air, water and soil, as well as chemicals legislation. The evaluation focused specifically on the structure and strategic role played by the 7th EAP and asked how it helped deliver a better environment in practice.

As an ECHA official stakeholder and one of the key sources on air quality, EFA responded to the consultation arguing that although the 7th EAP sets strategic guidance for the EU and its Member States, poor implementation of certain of the EAP priorities leads to environmental degradation threatening human health and wellbeing.

We reported to the Commission that we are concerned by the insufficient EAP enforcement to improve air quality in highly populated areas and by the lack of action to improve indoor air quality. Air pollution not only contributes to respiratory diseases and aggravates symptoms for patients living with allergy and airways diseases, but it increases mortality from cardio-respiratory diseases. Yet air pollution remains the most prevalent environmental cause of death in the EU.

The EU will likely meet its own air quality standards in urban areas by 2020. Therefore, a successful implementation of the EU environmental laws requires an 8th EAP to continue steering the challenging processes post-2020.

To learn more on the public consultation, read here.