The S&D Group has backed a mandate to start negotiations with the Council on the 8th Environment Action Programme (EAP). The EU needs an ambitious programme for action up to 2030 that pushes forward a change towards a sustainable wellbeing economy and better protection for biodiversity. The EAP provides a framework for the EU's overall environmental policy development and will help to steer policy-making by identifying priorities and setting out a long-term vision and goals. We made sure that social considerations such as minimising social inequalities are part of the Parliament´s priorities for the 8th Programme. We will be also fighting to ensure that all future actions will be carried out in a socially fair and inclusive way, contributing to the European Pillar of Social Rights and effectively addressing and reducing social inequalities.
The S&D shadow rapporteur, Demetris Papadakis MEP, commented:
“We are satisfied with the outcome of the vote in plenary and we now have an ambitious European Parliament position on the 8th EAP ready for the inter-institutional negotiations with the EU Council and Commission.
“With this mandate, this Environment Action Programme will not only embrace six interlinked thematic priority objectives to be achieved by 2030 at the latest, but it also aims at becoming a governance tool guiding the EU's environmental policy beyond the Green Deal.
“The role of the EAP is to preserve and enhance the EU's natural capital and protect people's health and wellbeing. We called for a sustainable wellbeing economy for the Union, combining prosperity and social progress with a healthy environment.
“The European Parliament report also calls for the phasing out of all fossil-fuel subsidies by 2025 and all other environmentally harmful subsidies by 2027. We originally wanted to set a phase-out date of 2025 for environmentally harmful subsidies too, but this did not receive enough backing from the other political groups.
“Just like with the Green Deal, the European Parliament wants the next Commission – after the 2024 European Parliament elections – to present a list and timeline of legislative and non-legislative actions within the first 100 days of its mandate to ensure that the 8th EAP's priority objectives are fully achieved by 2030 and 2050.”
The S&D co-ordinator in the environment committee, Jytte Guteland MEP, added:
"The EU is the world leader in policies for the protection of nature and our environment. With this new programme we are ensuring that everyone lives up to their responsibilities.
"Today we are taking a major step towards the just transition to a sustainable economy, beyond the narrow aims of increased GDP.
"We also reiterate the Parliament's strong position calling for an end date for the use of tax funds to subsidise fossil fuels as early as 2025."
Note for editors:
Environment action programmes have guided the development of EU environment policy since the early 1970s. The Seventh Environment Action Programme (7th EAP) expired on 31 December 2020 and its Article 4 (3) requires the Commission, if appropriate, to present a proposal for an Eighth Environment Action Programme (8th EAP) in a timely manner.