The environment is increasingly seen as an important area, with common challenges facing Europe and the world.
Article 174 of the Treaty establishing the European Community (TEC) lays down the objectives of the European Union’s environment policy, and Article 175 TEC is the legal base for the adoption of measures to achieve the objectives.
As in other policy areas, practical work at European level has been delegated to a Community Agency.
The European Environment Agency (EEA), located in Copenhagen (Denmark), has now been given a new codified Regulation:
Regulation (EC) No 401/2009 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 23 April 2009 on the European Environment Agency and the European Environment Information and Observation Network (Codified version), published in the Official Journal of the European Union (OJEU) 21.5.2009 L 126/13.
The scope of the codified Regulation 401/2009 is:
1. This Regulation provides for the European Environment Agency, hereinafter referred to as ‘the Agency’, and aims at the setting up of a European Environment Information and Observation Network.
2. To achieve the aims of environmental protection and improvement laid down by the Treaty and by successive Community action programmes on the environment, as well as of sustainable development, the objective of the Agency and of the European Environment Information and Observation Network shall be to provide the Community and the Member States with:
(a) objective, reliable and comparable information at European level enabling them to take the requisite measures to protect the environment, to assess the results of such measures and to ensure that the public is properly informed about the state of the environment, and to that end;
(b) the necessary technical and scientific support.