Tuesday, 26 February 2008

EU TFEU: Environmental protection

Environmental protection and sustainable development need action from the individual to the global level, with the European Union an increasingly important actor in between.

Every policy and activity of the EU can and should be scrutinised from these angles.

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In the Treaty of Lisbon (ToL) the intergovernmental conference gives us this stirring lead in the Treaty establishing the European Community (TEC), renamed the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU). See OJ 17.12.2007 C 306/48:

19) In Article 6, the words ‘referred to in Article 3’ shall be deleted.

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Should the Lisbon Treaty never enter into force, we have cause to be grateful for the incentive offered by the IGC 2007 to study the existing treaties we would be stuck with.

Here is Article 6 TEC (taken from the latest consolidated version of the current TEU and TEC, published in OJ 29.12.2006 C 321 E/46:

Article 6 TEC

Environmental protection requirements must be integrated into the definition and implementation
of the Community policies and activities referred to in Article 3, in particular with a view to
promoting sustainable development.

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Bearing in mind that ’Community’ and ’European Community’ belong to the terms marked for extinction under horizontal amendments, and following the instructions handed out, we arrive at the following consolidated text, under Title II Provisions having general application (throughout the treaty):

Article 6 TFEU (ToL), after renumbering Article 11 TFEU

Environmental protection requirements must be integrated into the definition and implementation of the Union policies and activities, in particular with a view to promoting sustainable development.

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Never mind that the current TEC and the agreed TFEU are substantially the same. Intrepid warriors want to know what that proponent of European democracy, Valéry Giscard d’Estaing, and the European Convention he led, proposed in the draft Treaty establishing a Constitution for Europe (OJ 18.7.2003 C 169/29):

Article III-4 Draft Constitution

Environmental protection requirements must be integrated into the definition and implementation of the Union policies and activities referred to in this Part, in particular with a view to promoting sustainable development.

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What did the previous IGC 2004 agree on in the Treaty establishing a Constitution for Europe? A quick look in OJ 16.12.2004 C 310/55:

Article III-119 Constitution

Environmental protection requirements must be integrated into the definition and implementation of the policies and activities referred to in this Part, in particular with a view to promoting sustainable development.

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Everybody should now be happy: The ones who contend that the Lisbon Treaty is practically the same as the Constitution (and the draft Constitution) can point to identical wording. Those who want to underline the pious rewording of an amending treaty find satisfaction in the substantial similarity between the TEC and the agreed TFEU.

Splendid!

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What the Europa Glossary has to say about the environment:

http://europa.eu/scadplus/glossary/environment_en.htm

Further reading on the EU and environmental protection:

http://europa.eu/scadplus/leg/en/s15000.htm


For the Europa Glossary introduction to sustainable development:

http://europa.eu/scadplus/glossary/sustainable_development_en.htm

A primer on sustainable development:

http://europa.eu/scadplus/leg/en/s15001.htm

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If sustainable development meets the needs of the present generation without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs, there are least three important aspects to sustainability: environmental, economic and social-political.

Between the competing claims of growth and prosperity now on the one hand and needs of future generations on the other hand, European regulation and legislation is never going to be boring.

It might even merit the efforts of the best and the brightest.


Ralf Grahn