Written by Didier Bourguignon Green Week, the annual conference on European environment policy, takes place from 3 to 5 June 2015. This year’s edition,…
Irochka / Fotolia
Written by Didier Bourguignon
Green Week, the annual conference on European environment policy, takes place from 3 to 5 June 2015. This year’s edition, labelled ‘Nature – our health, our wealth’, has nature, biodiversity and natural resources as its main themes. The European Commission plans to carry out a major review of European Union legislation on nature in 2016, and launched a public consultation aiming to gather contributions from citizens, businesses and NGOs by 24 July 2015.
In spite of an ambitious policy aiming to halt the loss of biodiversity by 2020 and an extensive network of protected sites (Natura 2000) covering 18% of EU territory, biodiversity and ecosystems remain under pressure in the EU, as in the wider world. European biodiversity is mainly threatened by land-use change, climate change, over-exploitation of natural resources and pollution. The objectives of the EU biodiversity protection policy, which is based on the twin Birds and Habitats Directives, sometimes compete with other policies, such as agriculture, fisheries, and climate change. The EU is also engaged in mapping services provided by ecosystems (e.g. regulating local climate, cleaning water, pollinating crops or providing recreational areas) in order to enable better-informed policy choices.
Focus on water in EU policy…
Green Week events at the European Parliament will focus on water, a source of life and an essential resource for nature.
An ex-post impact assessment of EU water legislation, soon to be published by the European Parliament Research Service, highlights what EU policies on water have achieved, and the slow rate of implementation in some areas, such as water quality. A Cost-of Non-Europe report on EU water legislation estimates that if fully implemented, current legislation could generate benefits of up to €2.8 billion per year. The same report also identifies areas for possible future EU policy action, with net benefits estimated at €25 billion per year.
In the EU, agriculture accounts for 33% of total water use, a share rising to 80% in Southern European regions. An increased demand for food and feed, driven by population growth and dietary change is expected to influence water use in agriculture. A study on the sustainable management of water and agriculture, published in 2013 by the European Parliament’s Science and technology options assessment (STOA) unit, concludes that if the EU is to meet its targets for good water conservation status, approaches to water use and water efficiency need to change.
… and for European citizens
Water is of paramount interest to citizens. It is of course essential for our health. The human body is, on average, made up of 65% water and needs a daily water intake to compensate for water losses. The high level of interest for this theme is illustrated by the fact that the first European citizens’ initiative, submitted in 2013, concerned water as a human right. The campaign aimed to guarantee universal access to water and sanitation services in the EU, and demanded that control over water remains in public hands.
The central task of the Members Research Service is to ensure that all Members of the European Parliament are provided with analysis of, and research on, policy issues relating to the European Union, in order to assist them in their parliamentary work.
European Parliament Plenary Session – December 2023
The G20 in a time of geopolitical upheaval
COP28 climate change conference in Dubai
Generative AI: opportunities, risks and challenges
EU-Ukraine 2035 – Foresight beyond the war
European Parliament Plenary Session – November II 2023
What is the EU doing to protect human rights?
How do we want to produce and consume food in a more sustainable way?
European Parliament Plenary Session – November I 2023
World Cities Day 2023
Death penalty – answering citizens’ concerns
Appointment of Wopke Hoekstra as new climate commissioner – answering citizens’ concerns
Strictly Necessary Cookies
Strictly Necessary Cookie should be enabled at all times so that we can save your preferences for cookie settings.
If you disable this cookie, we will not be able to save your preferences. This means that every time you visit this website you will need to enable or disable cookies again.
The present website is hosted by WordPress.com, a service by Automattic. Automattic is a global company with thousands of servers located in several separate data centres around the world. While Automattic takes care of the security of the platform, we, the European Parliamentary Research Service, own the content of the blog. For more detailed information about the compliance of Automattic products and services with the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), please see their dedicated page.
We do not collect any personal data that could identify an individual user. The users that are registered in WordPress.com should consult wordpress.com terms of service. We do collect anonymised aggregate data for statistical purposes. The data collected for this purposes include: number of visits/visitors per page, the country of the user, and aggregate numbers of incoming and outgoing clicks.
We determine unique page counts by using a “hashed” version of the visitor’s IP address. The visitor’s full IP address is deleted from our logs after a little over a month. That timeframe is how long the data is needed in order to allow us to calculate your stats on a monthly basis and no longer.
We collect your email address only if you proactively requested to be notified about the updates on the blog. You can always contact us to remove your email address from our records or unsubscribe from the notification service.
We can also see your name and email address if you made a comment to one of our posts. We do not make the email address visible on the comment. Nevertheless, on request, we can delete your comments.
We collect cookies only to facilitate your browsing experience, such as enabling you to share our posts via social media or comment on the post. The majority of cookies will be used only if you are a registered WordPress.com user. In this case, you are bound to WordPress.com terms of service.
Some pages embed content from third parties. In this case, you will need to actively consent to their terms in order to see the content.