The EC Urges Immediate Measures to Ensure Air Purity
The European Commission urged EU countries on Tuesday to take immediate measures to ensure clean air. EU Environment Commissioner Carmen Vela has told journalists that the EC will no longer wait. We said that we would be serious about the serious issues - we are doing so.
Tomorrow, the commissioners will discuss the issue at their weekly meeting. Countries that have not yet met the requirements and have not yet been brought to justice have until Monday to propose new measures. If we consider that these measures will lead to rapid improvement, we may not refer the matter to the court, Vela said, quoted by BTA. Requirements are old and should have been implemented long ago. We've been waiting and waiting. I call on all EU countries to resolve this issue with the urgency it contains. The responsibility for action lies with states and has legal consequences, added the EU Commissioner. He noted that around 400,000 people die each year from respiratory diseases in the EU.
Vela today met with representatives of nine EU countries that have not provided air quality and are threatened by a case in the European Court of Justice. In 2008, the EU introduced maximum permissible air pollution thresholds. In 23 of the 28 countries in the EU these requirements are not met and the air is over-polluted in over 130 cities. For one of the pollution indicators, the European Commission has prosecuted against 13 countries (Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Poland, Portugal, Spain, the United Kingdom and Luxembourg).
Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Germany, Greece, Spain, France, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, Portugal, Poland, Romania, Sweden, Slovakia and Slovenia are prosecuted on a second indicator.
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