The Amsterdam Treaty
25. EU policy is very much Treaty-based and led.
The free-standing, Article 6 of the Amsterdam Treaty therefore
provides a more concrete foundation for negotiation by those seeking
action in this area than existed previously in the Maastricht
Treaty. Witnesses felt that Article 6 was adequate and they would
like to see how it worked before there were any further treaty
changes. Mr Peter Madden (The Green Alliance on behalf of EEB-UK)
told us that the focus should be on "turning existing legal
language into real change".
26. Mr Meacher thought that it was difficult to see
what further treaty changes could be made which would take integration
He thought that the Amsterdam Treaty already represented an improvement
on the Maastricht Treaty in terms of integration. The previous
commitment to integration in the Maastricht Treaty had been in
the Environment Title rather than the overarching position it
now holds in the Amsterdam Treaty. Mr Meacher told us that this
placing had been "unfortunate"
because those handling specific policy areas were often unaware
of Treaty requirements in other areas. We understand this point
but remain concerned that Article 6 may still fall within the
definition of "other areas" for those concerned with
vital day-to-day work on individual policies.
27. The Committee considers Article 6 of the Amsterdam
Treaty to be a major step forward in promoting environmental policy
integration. However, the Committee is concerned that Article
6 alone may not adequately promote environmental integration and
will need to be complemented by specific provisions included in
the legislative bases for individual policies. The Committee recommends
that the Government keeps the need for further Treaty revision
along these lines under review in the light of an assessment in
due course of the impact of Article 6.
20 Q64 Back
21 Q128 Back