Léim ar aghaidh chuig an bpríomhábhar

Dáil Éireann díospóireacht -
Tuesday, 18 May 1993

Vol. 430 No. 8

Written Answers. - EC Environment Minister's Meeting.

Avril Doyle


173 Mrs. Doyle asked the Minister for the Environment if he will make a statement on the items discussed at the Informal Council of Environment Ministers meeting on 15 May 1993 and on the Irish position on these items.

The informal meeting of EC Environment Ministers of 15 May, 1993, which I attended, was concerned with the following subjects on which Presidency/Commission papers had been presented: transport and the environment, environment protection and employment, and environmental aspects of Community Structural Funds. Discussion of these questions was wide-ranging, and generally concentrated on the direction of future Community policy in these areas rather than on national situations. The Presidency did not formulate informal conclusions of the meeting.

Transport and the environment was the principal subject of discussion. Ireland shared in the general consensus that environmental considerations should be adequately integrated into transport plans and policies, while emphasising the considerable differences between transport conditions and needs of peripheral and central European member states. There was a wide view that a joint Environmental/Transport Council should be convened at a future date to progress this matter further.
On environment protection and employment, there was consensus on the gravity of the unemployment situation throughout the Community and the need to harness environmental protection policies and the growing environmental industry to alleviate this situation.
On the Structural Funds, there was a shared view that the environmental credentials of regional development plans (the National Development Plan in Ireland's case) should be clearly demonstrated, as envisaged in the draft Framework Regulation for the Structural Funds. There was also an exchange of views on monitoring requirements in this area, and in particular, the operation of environment impact assessment.