News
In March, EFA, the European Public Health Alliance (EPHA) and the EPHA Environment Network (EEN) sent a joint letter to the rapporteurs of the European Parliament’s Environment Committee and other influential figures in the committee, to underline the importance of a strong and ambitious European Thematic Strategy on Air Quality and called upon ministers to insist that the European Commission’s Proposal for a Directive on Ambient Air Quality and Cleaner Air for Europe (COM 2005, 447) should reflect its own impact assessment and the WHO recommendations relating to air pollution. More precisely, the three organizations called for: No re-negotiation of existing limit values and implementation of all WHO air quality guidelines;  Limit values must apply everywhere and should not be turned into a "swiss cheese" by specifying that they apply in certain areas and not in others; and Derogations must be limited or not allowed. A briefing on 'Why Limit Values Must Apply Everywhere' is accessible to EFA members. A report has been produced by MEP Holger Krahmer for the European Parliament’s Environment committee that does not support a strong Air Quality Directive and it is vital that organizations with an interestin health and the environment impress upon national MEPs in the Committee and the health and environment ministers of national governments the importance of strengthening this vital piece of European legislation and making positive amendments to the report before it is due to be adopted in May 2006. A parliamentary session and vote is scheduled around mid-June 2006. The European Council has already debated the strategy and the draft proposal and made comments (including: “It will be important that public health considerations are maintained in the negotiations and that the aim of reducing people's exposure to air pollution, in particular fine particles, is remembered.”) Agreement on a common position is expected from the European Council in late June 2006. We will keep you updated.

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The EFA Team