Glossary of summaries

Help Export PDF Print this page 


The EU’s environmental policy, based on Article 191 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU), aims to preserve, protect and improve the quality of the environment and to protect human health. It also focuses on the careful and rational use of natural resources and contributes to promoting, at international level, measures intended to combat regional or global environmental problems and tackling climate change in particular. It is based on precautionary and preventive action, correction at source and ‘polluter pays’  principles.

In 2013, the EU adopted its 7th Environment Action Programme (EAP), which guides the EU’s environmental policy for the period up to 2020. The EAP sets out a long-term vision of where it wants the EU to be by 2050 and has three priority action areas:

  1. natural capital: protecting, conserving and enhancing fertile soil, seas, fresh water, clean air and biodiversity;
  2. resource-efficient economy: the full delivery of the EU's climate action and energy packages, improved environmental performance of products and reduced environmental impact of consumption;
  3. a healthy environment for healthy people.