EU development ministers aim to integrate

Council calls for detailed environmental integration paper in time for Helsinki summit

EU development cooperation ministers have called on the European Commission to prepare a draft strategy on integration of environmental considerations. The Council was responding to a call made by EU heads of state last December for development, industry and internal market ministers to prepare environmental integration strategies for the Helsinki summit of government leaders, to be held in December (ENDS Daily 14 December 1998). Industry ministers agreed an interim report on integration last month (ENDS Daily 27 April); the internal market Council is expected to do so in June. In conclusions to their meeting, development ministers stressed several issues that the Commission could concentrate on and called for submission of "elements for a comprehensive strategy" in time for their meeting in November. In a paper prepared for the Council meeting, the European Commission stresses that while progress has been made at integrating environmental considerations into project planning, more needs to be done to ensure environmental integration at a strategic level. The paper also stresses a lack of progress in integrating environment into multilateral and bilateral trade negotiations. Management of genetic resources is an area "of particular concern," it goes on.

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