Objectives: To preserve, protect and improve the quality of the environment, to protect human health, to utilise natural resources prudently and rationally and to promote measures at the international level to deal with regional and world-wide environmental problems. (art. 130 r.1).
Summary of provisions: Community policy on the environment is to aim at a high level of protection. It is to be based on a number of principles such as the precautionary principle and environmental protection requirements are to be integrated into the definition and implementation of other Community policies. Harmonisation measures include where appropriate a safeguard clause allowing Member States to take provisional measures for non-economic environmental reasons (art. 130r.2). In preparing its policy on the environment, the Community agrees to take account of available scientific and technical data, environmental conditions in the various regions, potential benefits and costs of action or lack of action as well as economic and social development of the Community as whole and the balanced development of its regions (art. 130 r.3).
Institutional mechanisms: The Council, after consulting the Economic and Social Committee is to decide what action is to be taken by the Community to achieve the above mentioned objectives (art. 130s.1) except in certain areas listed in Article 130s.2 and 3.
(Source: IUCN ELC, 08.2005)