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Every year, more than 400,000 premature deaths in the EU are caused by air pollution, resulting in significant human and economic costs.

A new report from the European Court of Auditors published in September confirms EFA’s position that the EU is not doing enough to protect us from atmospheric pollution, especially in urban areas and the countries of Central Eastern Europe.

The aim of the audit was to examine the effectiveness of the member states’ implementation of the 2008 directive (2008/50/EC) on the quality of ambient air in Europe, the effectiveness of the controls carried out by the Commission and the measures it is taking to enforce this legislation, and how EU policy reflects the imperative need to improve air quality.

In our reply to a consultation on the above-mentioned directive in July 2018, EFA stated that asthma patients need clear, consistent and strict EU requirements on information and alert systems. Air quality standards are also currently not as strict as those of the World Health Organisation and many Member States are struggling to respect the directive, but are not doing enough to remedy their non-compliance.

As shown by the EU Court of Auditors, most EU countries of them do not respect the maximum emission levels set by the EU, and this despite compliance would save spare citizens from a great deal of respiratory diseases, causing premature deaths, suffering and economic costs.

The full report can be found here.