Amendment of Directive on Environmental Impact Assessment will lead to higher quality of assessment, streamlining of procedures and mainstreaming of decision-making process

21 December 2013, Last updated at, 10:29 EEST
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author: Reuters/Scanpix

In the Committee of Permanent Representatives (COREPER I) the Member States voted in favor of the final compromise text, as agreed by the Lithuanian EU Council Presidency in negotiations with the European Parliament on the Proposal for a Directive amending Directive 2011/92/EU on the assessment of the effects of certain public and private projects on the environment, known as 'Environmental Impact Assessment' (EIA) Directive.

The main purpose of the proposed Directive is to correct shortcomings, reflect ongoing environmental and socio-economic changes, streamline the EIA process and strengthen its quality, enhance policy coherence creating synergies with other EU legislative instruments. At the same time it aims at ensuring a high level of protection of the environment and of human health.

According to the Minister of Environment of Lithuania Valentinas Mazuronis, concluding negotiations on this dossier was one of Lithuanian Presidency’s priorities in the field of environment, as this important Directive will allow to improve environmental protection and support sustainable growth in Europe.

“We tried to find a rational solution within the Council and with the European Parliament, which would allow to improve the quality and compatibility of EIA processes in the EU. To this end, we aimed at finding a reasonable and balanced agreement without fundamental changes of the underlying Directive. As a result minimum quality requirements for different elements of environmental impact assessment process, ensuring a better integration of the EIA results into the decision-making procedures and improving the effectiveness of public participation and information will be established”, Minister Mazuronis thanked the European Parliament and the Commission for constructive cooperation throughout the negotiations on this important piece of legislation.

In total, four informal trilogues took place between the co-legislators, the last one - on 18 December, which led to the preliminary agreement.

The Committee authorised the Presidency to send the letter to European Parliament stating according to the first reading legislative procedure.

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