EU Environmental Information and Legislation Database


Introduction Environmental Impact Assessment
Air Structural Funds
Water The Fifth Environmental Action Programme
Waste Chemicals
Noise Nature
EU Structures Agriculture



This database is intended to serve as an introduction to the huge body of environmental legislation which has been implemented in Europe over the past twenty years or so and subsequently taken into Irish law. It is by no means meant to be comprehensive listing of all legislation in place. What it does is threefold:

It looks at Directives and Regulations governing the control of pollution and conservation issues in seven main areas : air, water, waste, noise, chemicals, nature and agriculture. In addition to examining the most important pieces of legislation controlling emissions and waste, the database briefly discusses the state of our waterbodies and air, what has been done to protect them, what could be done to further improve them. It also looks at waste disposal in Ireland and at options such as recycling and reuse.

It examines the structures of the European Union and how they have evolved to allow for the implementation of its regulations and directives into national laws of the Member States. It looks at the aspirations of the EU for greater environmental awareness and protection as enunciated by the Fifth Action Programme on the Environment and at the instruments, such as the Structural Funds, which are being used to try to assist the realisation of these aspirations.

In addition to pieces of legislation the database lists, where appropriate, schemes which, though not mandatory, encourage good environmental practice. Examples of this would include the EU ECO-Label Award Scheme or the Rural Environment Protection Scheme (REPS).

The database can be read through on a topic basis, or can be used to find specific pieces of information though your brower's find command.

The use of three designations throughout - the European Economic Community (EEC) European Community (EC) and European Union - might give rise to some confusion. Quite simply, the title European Economic Community which dates from 1958 has since been shortened to the European Community. The European Union, introduced by the Maastricht Treaty in 1993, subsumes the European Community. In everyday usage the title "European Union" or "EU" is almost universally used but "European Community" or "EC" is still retained when referring to legislation.



Information prepared by Environment Publications Ltd. Email:
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