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Role of the European Parliament

The European Parliament plays a major role in shaping EU environmental law. During its current term, it is dealing with legislation deriving from the circular economy action plan (on waste, batteries, end-of-life vehicles, landfilling, etc.), climate change issues (ratification of the Paris Agreement, effort sharing, accounting for land use, land-use change and forestry in the Union’s climate change commitments, ETS reform, etc.) and more.

Parliament has repeatedly recognised the need for improved implementation as a key priority. In a 2013 resolution on ‘improving the delivery of benefits from EU environmental measures: building confidence through better knowledge and responsiveness’, it criticised the unsatisfactory level of implementation of environmental law in the Member States, and made several recommendations for a more efficient implementation, such as dissemination of best practices between Member States and between regional and local authorities. In its position on the current environmental action programme (running until 2020), Parliament also underlined the need to enforce EU environmental law more rigorously. It furthermore called for greater security for investments that support environmental policy and efforts to combat climate change, and for taking more and better account of environmental concerns in other policies.

In its resolution on the mid-term review of the EU Biodiversity Strategy, Parliament called on the Commission to review the framework for environmental inspections in order to better detect and prevent breaches.