Tag Archives: Natural resources

Global partnership for sustainable development

Global partnership for sustainable development

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Global partnership for sustainable development

Topics

These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

Development > Sectoral development policies

Global partnership for sustainable development

Document or Iniciative

Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament, the Council, the Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions, of 21 February 2002, entitled: “Towards a global partnership for sustainable development” [COM(2002) 82 final – Not published in Official Journal].

Summary

The European Union (EU) established a strategy for sustainable development in May 2001. In endorsing this strategy, the Göteborg European Council recognised that the external dimension needed to be further developed. It also called on the Commission to consider the Union’s contribution to global sustainable development. This communication responds to this request and contributes to developing the EU’s position in relation to the World Summit on sustainable development, which was held in Johannesburg in 2002.

The communication takes as its starting point the idea that globalisation acts as a powerful force for sustaining global growth and providing ways of dealing with international problems such as health, education and the environment. However, left to develop unchecked, market forces cause and exacerbate inequality and exclusion and can cause irreparable damage to the environment. Globalisation must therefore go hand in hand with measures designed to prevent or mitigate these effects. In the crucial spheres of trade, development financing, environmental management and combating poverty and crime, it is essential that efforts be made to draw up joint rules which are implemented and monitored effectively. It is also necessary to improve global governance, i.e. to promote more efficient management of interdependence.

The communication presents a series of actions to contribute to global sustainable development. They complement the May 2001 strategy for sustainable development and cover economic, social, environmental and financial aspects, as well as coherence of Community policies and governance at all levels.

Harnessing globalisation: trade for sustainable development

To ensure that globalisation contributes to sustainable development, the specific economic activities set out by the Commission are as follows:

  • within the framework of the World Trade Organisation (WTO), to improve the integration of developing countries into the world economy;
  • to help developing countries benefit from the global trading system;
  • to change the generalised system of preferences (GSP) to take account of sustainable development;
  • to include sustainable development in the bilateral and regional agreements;
  • to reduce the non-transparent use of the international financial system and to regulate it more efficiently;
  • to encourage European businesses to be socially responsible;
  • to promote cooperation between the WTO and international environmental organisations.

Fighting poverty and promoting social development

The aim is to reduce extreme poverty in the world by 2015 (people who live on $ 1 a day or less). Consequently, the quality, quantity, impact and sustainability of development cooperation must be increased. The activities to be carried out in this field are as follows:

  • to focus EU development policy on poverty reduction;
  • to ensure that EU policies contribute to combating hunger;
  • to integrate water distribution and treatment policies with health and education policies;
  • to mainstream the gender perspective in EU policies;
  • to invest more in the fields of health, education, training and communicable diseases;
  • to promote research relating to sustainable development.

Sustainable management of natural and environmental resources

The objective in this field is to reverse the trend of the loss of environmental resources by 2015 as well as to develop intermediate objectives in the sectors of water, land and soil, energy and biodiversity. The specific activities set out are as follows:

  • at the Johannesburg World Summit, to launch an initiative to promote sustainable water resource management;
  • to launch an initiative on cooperation in the field of energy and development;
  • to promote the application of international environmental agreements;
  • to partially replenish the Global Environment Facility;
  • to draw up an action plan to combat illegal logging;
  • to invest in sustainable modes of transport;
  • to promote sustainable fishing;
  • to deal with the prevention of natural disasters;
  • to extend the Global Monitoring for Environment and Security (GMES) system to developing countries.

Improving the coherence of European Union policies

The aim is to integrate sustainable development into all EU policies. The activities to be implemented are as follows:

  • to establish a system to assess the economic, social and environmental impact of all major policy proposals of the Union;
  • to continue the process of adapting policies to the objectives of sustainable development;
  • to sign the United Nations Protocol on the Illicit Manufacturing and Trafficking of Firearms;
  • to combat the negative effects of emigration.

Better governance at all levels

This area deals with strengthening the participation of civil society, and the legitimacy, coherence and effectiveness of global economic, social and environmental governance. The communication proposes the following specific action:

  • strengthening public institutions and civil society in developing countries;
  • stepping up the fight against corruption;
  • ensuring that core labour standards are respected;
  • at the Johannesburg Summit, encouraging the adoption of decisions which improve global governance;
  • stepping up the fight against discrimination against women.

Financing sustainable development

The objectives are those of the Millennium Declaration, namely: to eradicate poverty and hunger; to achieve universal primary education; to promote gender equality; to reduce child mortality; to improve women’s health; to combat communicable diseases; to promote sustainable development; and to develop a global partnership. The suggested actions are:

  • to make progress towards achieving the target of allocating official development assistance of 0.7 % of GNI (gross national income) and achieving the intermediate target of at least 0.33 % of GNI for all countries of the European Union from 2006;
  • to reduce the debt of the heavily indebted poor countries;
  • to take part in the debate on the possibility of States offering global public goods.

Related Acts

Joint declaration by the Council and the representatives of the governments of the Member States meeting within the Council, the European Parliament and the Commission on the development policy of the European Union, entitled The European Consensus [Official Journal C 46/01 of 24 February 2006].
In this declaration, the European Union reaffirms that the objective of its development policy is to reduce poverty worldwide in the context of sustainable development.

Environment and sustainable management of natural resources, including energy

Environment and sustainable management of natural resources, including energy

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Environment and sustainable management of natural resources, including energy

Topics

These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

Development > Sectoral development policies

Environment and sustainable management of natural resources, including energy

Document or Iniciative

Commission Communication of 25 January 2006, entitled: “External action: Thematic programme for environment and sustainable management of natural resources including energy” [COM(2006) 20 final – Not published in the Official Journal].

Summary

The Commission is proposing a thematic programme for the environment and the sustainable management of natural resources, for which it defines the scope, objectives and priorities.

This thematic programme covers measures which concern mainly the ecological dimension of development policy and the other external policies, and which also seek to promote the environmental and energy policies of the European Union (EU) elsewhere in the world. These measures will be financed through the new instruments defined under the financial perspective 2007-13.

The programme is intended to supplement measures in the field of the environment and natural resources (including energy) under national and regional programmes. It includes the opportunity to give priority to measures regarded as world priorities, to cover all the partner countries (except the pre-accession and potentially candidate countries) and to retain some flexibility as regards programming and partnerships.

The programme priorities are:

  • working to achieve Millennium Development Goal 7 (Ensure Environmental Sustainability), principally by building capacity to integrate the environment in developing countries, support civil society actors, monitoring and evaluation and the preparation of innovative solutions;
  • promoting implementation of EU initiatives and commitments at international level, including in the areas of sustainable development, climate change, biodiversity, desertification, forests and their governance, marine resources, waste and chemical products, etc.;
  • improving the integration by the EU of environmental questions, particularly as regards combating poverty, by expanding the EU’s responsibilities and through cooperation and specialist aid;
  • improving international governance as regards the environment and the EU’s driving role, particularly by assisting regional and international environmental monitoring and assessment, aid for implementing multilateral agreements on the environment, and support for international organisations and processes concerned with the environment and energy;
  • promoting options for renewable energy, particularly through institutional support and technical assistance, the creation of a legislative and administrative framework propitious for investment and business and encouragement for regional cooperation.

Context

This programme is one of a series of seven thematic programmes in the areas of: human rights and democracy, investment in human resources, the environment and sustainable management of natural resources (including energy), food safety, the participation of non-State actors in the development process, migration and asylum, and cooperation with the industrialised countries.

Along with Community, national and regional programmes, these new programmes will constitute the backbone of the Commission’s work on external cooperation after 2007.

Related Acts

Commission Communication of 3 August 2005, entitled: “External actions through thematic programmes under the future financial perspectives 2007-2013” [COM(2005) 324 final – Official Journal C 236, 24 September 2005].

Communication from the Commission to the Council, the European Parliament and the European Economic and Social Committee of 12 April 2005: Speeding up progress towards the Millennium Development Goals: The European Union’s contribution – [COM(2005) 132 final

– Not published in the Official Journal].

European Union Strategy for Danube Region

European Union Strategy for Danube Region

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about European Union Strategy for Danube Region

Topics

These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

Environment > Water protection and management

European Union Strategy for Danube Region

Document or Iniciative

Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament, the Council, the Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions of 8 December 2010, European Union Strategy for Danube Region [COM(2010) 715 final – Not published in the Official Journal].

Summary

The Danube Region has more than 100 million inhabitants and represents one fifth of European Union (EU) surface. It is therefore a vital region for Europe. The fourteen countries along the Danube, of which eight are EU Member States, are faced with common challenges.

The Danube Strategy is based on experience gained with the Baltic Sea Region and proposes an integrated Action Plan organised around four pillars:

  • connecting the Danube Region;
  • protecting the environment;
  • building prosperity;
  • strengthening the Region.

Connecting the Danube Region

The Strategy aims at improving mobility and multimodality (the use of several means of transport for a single journey) in the Region by developing sustainable inland navigation and road, rail and air infrastructures.

Furthermore, the energy networks have many gaps and deficiencies, due to insufficient capacity, low quality or poor maintenance. The production of more sustainable energy is to be encouraged.

The Danube Region also has a rich cultural heritage. The Commission therefore wishes to encourage the promotion of culture and tourism so as to give the Region a European and global dimension.

Protecting the Environment

Environmental resources are shared across borders and go beyond national interests. This is particularly true of the Danube Region, which includes mountain areas such as the Carpathians, the Balkans and part of the Alps. As a result, the Region has some of the richest flora and fauna in Europe. However, it has not been spared environmental disasters and pollution. Danube States must take joint measures, and in order to do this the Action Plan proposes to restore and maintain the quality of waters, to manage environmental risks, and to preserve biodiversity, landscapes and the quality of air and soils.

Building Prosperity

The Region includes some of the most competitive areas in the EU but also the poorest, the most highly skilled and the least educated, and the highest and lowest standards of living. In order to overcome disparities in education and employment, and to promote social inclusion, the Action Plan aims to develop the knowledge society through research, education and information technologies. It also seeks to support the competitiveness of enterprises and to invest in people and skills. Marginalised communities (including Roma, the majority of whom live in the Region) should benefit in particular.

Strengthening the Region

The dramatic changes since 1989 transformed society. Particular attention is needed as the Danube Region includes Member States which have joined at different moments, as well as countries applying for EU membership and other third countries. Most face similar problems, but with different resources available. Thus, in order to improve institutional capacity, cooperation and security, the Action Plan proposes to work together to promote more efficient administration of security matters and to tackle organised and serious crime.

The Region has EUR 100 billion from European funds for 2007-2013 and the strategy seeks to contribute to more effective use of available funds.

The Commission will coordinate areas of action. It will be assisted by a High Level Group composed of representatives of all Member States. In collaboration with the Danube States that are not Members of the EU, the Member States will be responsible for coordinating each priority area. All levels of power (national, regional, municipal and local) are to participate in implementing the actions. The Commission will produce reports in order to monitor development and progress.

Context

The Strategy is the result of a public consultation and debates between stakeholders. It contributes to the Europe 2020 Strategy for sustainable and intelligent growth. The Member States concerned are Germany, Austria, Hungary, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Slovenia, Bulgaria and Romania.