The European Commission welcomes the adoption of the directive on ambient air quality and cleaner air for Europe. The directive mirrors closely the Commission proposal of September 2005 and demonstrates the European Union's strong commitment to improving air quality in the EU by setting binding standards for fine particles PM2.5.
Humans can be adversely affected by exposure to air pollutants in ambient air. In response, the European Union has developed an extensive body of legislation which establishes health based standards and objectives for a number of pollutants in air.
Clean Air for Europe (CAFE) was launched in March 2001 with a Communication (COM(2001)245)). CAFE is a programme of technical analysis and policy development that underpinned the development of the Thematic Strategy on Air Pollution under the Sixth Environmental Action Programme. The Commission adopted the Thematic Strategy on 21 September 2005.
The legislation in force as classified according to the Directory of Community legislation may be accessed from this page. The analytical structure of the Directory of Community legislation comprises 20 chapters with divisions into further sub-sections as necessary.
The Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) is a formal study process used to predict the environmental consequences of a proposed project/activity, applying existing EU and National legislation and methods. Information availability and completeness concerning methods used for the compilation of such studies differ significantly at a national and international level. Moreover, information resulting from EIA studies are difficult to access and evaluate, being spread in various heterogeneous administration levels.
The first edition of the WHO Air quality guidelines for Europe was published in 1987. Since then new data have emerged and new developments in risk assessment methodology have taken place, necessitating the updating and revision of the existing guidelines. The Bilthoven Division of the WHO European Centre for Environment and Health undertook this process in close cooperation with the International Programme on Chemical Safety (IPCS) and the European Commission.