REPORT FROM THE COMMISSION TO THE COUNCIL AND THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT under Article 12(3) of Directive 2001/42/EC on the assessment of the effects of certain plans and programmes on the environment
1. The report from the Commission is the second implementation report on Directive 2001/EC on the assessment of the effects of certain plans and programmes on the environment (usually referred to as the ‘strategic environmental assessment’ or ‘SEA’ Directive). It presents the experience gained in applying the Directive between 2007 and 2014.
2. The SEA Directive’s objectives are ‘to provide for a high level of protection of the environment and to contribute to the integration of environmental considerations into the preparation and adoption of plans and programmes with a view to promoting sustainable development’. It applies to plans and programmes which are likely to have significant effects on the environment. It sets out an assessment procedure which is intended to ensure that those responsible for the preparation and adoption of plans and programmes obtain information on, and take account of, any likely significant effects on the environment.
3. The report summarises the findings of the Commission’s research on the implementation and effects of the Directive in EU Member States. It identifies that all Member States have transposed the Directive, although the legislative frameworks vary across the EU depending on the administrative structures and arrangements in each Member State. It concludes that all Member States should pursue their implementation efforts to ensure compliance with the Directive, and where necessary, they should also take proactive initiatives such as issuing guidance, providing training and sharing information. The Commission will consider how to increase the positive effects of the Directive as part of its Regulatory Fitness and Performance (REFIT) programme. The report does not propose to make any changes to the Directive.