7TH EU ENVIRONMENT ACTION PROGRAMME AND THE RIO+20

01 June 2012

The European Commission is currently developing a new Environment Action Programme (EAP).
For this purpose, the Commission is consulting stakeholders, at EU and national level, and the
public at large on the EU’s environment policy priorities up to 2020. The 7th EAP will be adopted
by the Commission in autumn of this year.

MEUSAC, together with the Malta Environment and Planning Authority (MEPA) and the Ministry
for Tourism, Culture and the Environment, recently organised a Consultation Session for NGOs,
business associations, constituted bodies, members of MEUSAC’s Sectoral Committees and other
interested parties in order to provide information on the recent developments related to the current
environment issues and to listen to receive feedback from the stakeholders.

The 7th EAP will be focusing on delivering better environmental outcomes, integrating climate and
environment issues in other policies, aligning policy and practice with the latest scientific
knowledge, and filling significant policy gaps in the field of environment. Suzanne Gauci, EU
Affairs Manager at MEPA, gave a presentation on the Commission’s proposals for the new EAP.

Another item on the agenda of the consultation session was the United Nations (UN) Conference on
Sustainable Development 2012 – Rio+20 to be held next month. Dr Marie Louise Mangion,
Director of the Tourism and Sustainable Development Unit at the Ministry for Tourism, Culture and
the Environment, stated that the Conference is expected to result in a focused political document,
which broadly focuses on two related themes: the need to develop a green economy in the context
of sustainable development and poverty eradication; and the need to strengthen the institutional
framework for sustainable development. The preparations for Rio+20 have highlighted seven areas
which need priority attention; these include decent jobs, energy, sustainable cities, food security and
sustainable agriculture, water, oceans and disaster readiness.

MEUSAC Head Dr. Vanni Xuereb stressed the importance of active participation in consultation
exercises at national and EU level, a process through which local stakeholders and civil society are
empowered and are given the opportunity to have their say and influence the EU’s decision-making
process.

Addressing the session, Dr. Mario de Marco, Minister for Tourism, Culture and the Environment,
stated that although Rio+20 and 7th EAP are not directly related both will influence Malta’s policy
agenda in the years to come. Moreover, both represent an opportunity for Malta to make its voice
heard.

The session was concluded by Mr. Peter Portelli, Permanent Secretary of the Ministry for Tourism,
Culture and the Environment.