HC Deb 18 June 2004 vol 422 cc1121-2W
Norman Baker

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what steps the Government is taking to ensure the success at EU level of the Cardiff process to integrate environmental considerations into sectoral policy. [178704]

Mr. Morley

The Government has been an active supporter of the Cardiff process since its launch under the UK presidency in 1998. The European Commission has recently produced a stocktaking report of the Cardiff process ['Integrating environmental considerations into other policy areas—a stocktaking of the Cardiff process' COM(2004)394]. This document shows that whilst some progress has been made in important areas such as agriculture (reform of the CAP) and energy (Directive 2004/87/EC on Greenhouse gas emissions) more work is still needed. My department will consider the recommendations in the stocktaking carefully. In the meantime my department has beer considering ways of promoting environmental integration through various other tools. For example, we see a fair and balanced impact assessment of new EU policy proposals as a key tool in promoting environmental integration; my department have commissioned a study investigating the Commission's new impact assessment system and will be sharing its conclusions and recommendations with the Commission. We will also be looking for further improvements in the EU Sustainable Development Strategy which is being reviewed this year.