The proposed 7th EU Environment Action Plan. Does a lack of exciting blog entry title signal lack of excitement in its subject-matter?

This call is a difficult one. Everyone knows that the true impact of law and policy is made not in grand statements but in the hard graft of Statutes, implementation, compliance and litigation. Whence I am not a fan of new versions of core principles in, say international environmental law (Rio+20 comes to mind): the old principles do the job just fine.

In the EU, Environment(al) Action Programs or ‘EAP’s’ go back some time: 1973, 1977, 1983, 1987, 1993, 2002. The latter, the sixth, covered a 12 year period. The Commission have now proposed the 7th, which is to run until 2020.  It is entitled ‘”Living well, within the limits of our planet”, which is of course reminiscent of the Club of Rome Report on Limits to Growth.  There are nine priorities in the EAP. Will they change the world? Not in and of themselves. Do they distract and divert time which would have been better spent on detail? Probably. However they might focus the minds of the Commission officials who are in charge of policy formulation, and implementation, and of the Member States who are supposed to be the enforcers par excellence.



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