3. Environmental policy integration (EPI) is the
process of integrating environmental considerations into all economic
and sectoral decisions such as those concerning transport, agriculture
and industry. It is a concept of policy-making rather than a specific
method. Whilst environmental regulators can make policies which
influence these other sectors, it is equally important that policy
makers in each sector directly consider the pressures on the environment
that they are influencing when they formulate policy.
4. The Committee's specific remit is to monitor the
integration of environmental considerations into all policy areas
at UK level and we have reported on the UK government's progress
with this agenda.
The EU is also undertaking a number of initiatives to integrate
environmental considerations into all EU policies and procedures
which will be evaluated at the Helsinki European Council in December.
The Committee is therefore interested in the UK's contribution
to these initiatives and their impact on UK policy. The Summit
is also expected to decide whether there should be an overarching
EU sustainable development strategy and/or a sixth Environmental
5. This report sets out the Committee's views on
the progress made towards EPI in advance of the Helsinki Summit.
6. We looked at:
the impact of the new Treaty provisions
on EPI agreed at Amsterdam;
the approach adopted to the setting of
sectoral strategies as required by the Cardiff, Vienna and Cologne
European Councils, in particular assessing the lessons learned
from the progress made by the Transport, Energy and Agriculture
Councils and the requirements for other sectoral strategies;
the operation of the procedures within
the Commission for ensuring that environmental issues are addressed
with respect to policy development, and the case for further institutional
change to secure improved coordination;
the lessons learned from the Global Assessment
of the Fifth Environmental Action Programme; and
the case for a sixth Environmental Action
Programme, targets and indicators and/or an EU Sustainable Development
Strategy and related issues.
7. The Committee will return to the issue after Helsinki
to assess subsequent developments and decisions.
8. The Committee was grateful for the memorandum
from the Department of Environment, Transport and Regions which
set out the history of the integration process and the Government's
view on future progress. Memoranda from English Nature, various
non-governmental organisations and Ms Anita Pollack (Labour Member
of the European Parliament 1989-99) provided further helpful perspectives
on the integration process. The Committee would also like to thank
Dr Andrew Jordan and Dr Andrea Lenschow for early sight of their
work on a comparative analysis of the implementation of EPI by
Member States and the institutions of the EU.
9. The Committee took oral evidence from: Rt Hon.
Michael Meacher, MP, Minister for the Environment, Department
of the Environment, Transport and Regions; Mr Tony Brenton, Director,
Global Affairs, Foreign and Commonwealth Office; English Nature;
European Environmental Bureau-UK Branch (represented by The Green
Alliance, Royal Society for the Protection of Birds and the Council
for the Protection of Rural England) and Dr Andrew Jordan (University
of East Anglia).
10. We were also grateful for the specialist advice
offered by David Wilkinson from the Institute of European Environmental
3 Second Report from the Environmental Audit Committee,
The Greening Government Initiative, HC 517-I, Session 1997-98,
and Sixth Report, The Greening Government Initiative 1999, HC
426-I, Session 1998-99 Back