In November 2017, a Public Consultation was launched on pharmaceuticals in the environment to which HOPE responded in February 2018.
On 11 March 2019, the European Commission presented its ‘Strategic Approach to Pharmaceuticals in the Environment’ which identifies six action areas concerning all stages of the pharmaceutical life cycle, where improvements can be made, both for human and veterinary use. On 12 December 2019, the European Commission released a fitness check of the ‘Water Framework Directive’, its associated Directives, and the Floods Directive which highlighted improvements and obstacles for a better implementation.
On 21 July 2020, a Roadmap on the revision of the Directive on ‘Water pollution – EU rules on urban wastewater treatment’ was launched. On 17 September, the European Parliament approved a resolution calling for new measures to tackle pharmaceutical pollution.
On 25 November 2020, an overview of the progress made in implementing the actions of the ‘Strategic Approach to Pharmaceuticals in the Environment’ showed that implementation of some actions is already quite advanced. For instance, this is the case with the adoption of the revised Surface Water Watch List and the development of new guidelines on hazardous household waste.
Energy Efficiency Directive
The 2012 EU ‘Energy Efficiency Directive’ 2012/27/EU (EED) established a set of binding measures to help the EU reach its 20% energy efficiency target by 2020. With the European Green Deal, climate ambitions have been raised upwards and the European Commission assessed how the EU’s greenhouse gas emissions could responsibly be reduced by at least 50% to 55% by 2030.
On 3 August 2020, the European Commission released a Roadmap on the EU ‘Energy Efficiency Directive’ to proceed to its evaluation and review. Finally, on 17 November 2020, a Public Consultation was launched to evaluate the Directive.
Farm to Fork Strategy
In May 2020, the European Commission adopted the Communication ‘A Farm to Fork Strategy – For a fair, healthy and environmentally friendly food system’. It is the first comprehensive strategy of the EU in this area, with the goal of providing European citizens with nutritious, affordable and safe food.
On 15 and 16 October 2020, HOPE joined the Farm to fork conference, hosted by the European Commission. The conference was the first annual meeting of European stakeholders across the food value chain willing to engage and shape the EU’s path towards a sustainable food system.
On 19 October 2020, the Council of the EU adopted a set of conclusions on the ‘Farm to Fork Strategy’, endorsing the goal of developing a European sustainable food system, from production to consumption. Key messages of the Council were first ensuring a sufficient and affordable food, while contributing to EU climate neutrality by 2050, and second, ensuring a fair income and strong support for primary producers.