EU presidency push for more policy integration

Prescott proposes audit programme to maintain check on governments' progress

EU environment council president, John Prescott, has called on the European Commission to propose new mechanisms for ensuring the integration of the EU's environmental and other policies. The Commission is currently drafting a policy paper on integration of EU policies, acting on a request by heads of state last year (ENDS Daily 10 February). In a speech to the European Parliament on Tuesday, Mr Prescott said he considered this to be merely the first phase of an integration strategy. Second and third phases should "ensure that head of government and councils of ministers return to this regularly," he said, adding that one way to do this could be through a "rolling programme of environmental audit". He pledged to discuss the strategy with representatives of all three EU presidencies up to 2000 - Austria, Germany and Finland. "Those who give political leadership must see the whole picture - must make the connections between economic, environmental and social issues. We have got to break the habit of thinking in a fragmented way."

Follow Up:
UK Presidency of the European Union, tel: +44 171 890 3000.

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