EU inches towards soil protection strategy

Draft communication long on description but short on policies to tackle soil degradation

The European Commission has released a draft policy paper outlining options for a future EU soil protection strategy. The paper contains little hint of firm proposals for action beyond the creation of an EU soil monitoring and management system. A two-week consultation period has been launched by the environment directorate before it prepares a final version.

Intended to lead to a "thematic strategy" for soil under the EU's forthcoming sixth environmental action programme, the paper takes up the reins from a shorter communication released in May (EED 28/05/01). The Commission stresses that it is more "broad and descriptive" than prescriptive since soil protection has not been addressed at EU level before.

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