Environment Action Programmes

Environment Action Programmes provide a general policy framework for the European Union’s environment policy in which the most important medium and long-term goals are defined and set out in a basic strategy, where appropriate including concrete measures.

The Environment Action Programmes date back to a conference of Heads of State and Government held in October 1972 which agreed that a common environmental policy is essential and which called on the Commission to develop a programme accordingly.

The 1992 Treaty of Maastricht created a contractual basis for the adoption of Environment Action Programmes. When the Treaty of Lisbon entered into force, this contractual basis was set out in Article 192 (3) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union. Under this provision, Environment Action Programmes are issued on the proposal of the Commission by the European Parliament and the Council in an ordinary legislative procedure, and are thus formal legislative acts.

Eight Environment Action Programmes (EAPs) have been adopted so far, their duration ranging from 3 to 10 years:

  1st Environment Action Programme 1973-1976
  2nd Environment Action Programme 1977-1981
  3rd Environment Action Programme 1982-1986
  4th Environment Action Programme 1987-1992
  5th Environment Action Programme 1993-2000
  6th Environment Action Programme 2002-2012
  7th Environment Action Programme 2014-2020
  8th Environment Action Programme 2022-2030

Last updated: 19.09.2023

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