In May 2016, the Commission launched the Environmental Implementation Review (EIR), a two-year cycle of analysis, dialogue and collaboration to improve the implementation of existing EU environmental policy and legislation1. As a first step, the Commission drafted 28 reports describing the main challenges and opportunities on environmental implementation for each Member State.
These reports are meant to stimulate a positive debate both on shared environmental challenges for the EU, as well as on the most effective ways to address the key implementation gaps.
The reports rely on the detailed sectoral implementation reports collected or issued by the Commission under specific environmental legislation as well as the 2015 State of the Environment Report and other reports by the European Environment Agency.
The main challenges have been selected by taking into account factors such as the importance or the gravity of the environmental implementation issue in the light of the impact on the quality of life of the citizens, the distance to target, and financial implications.
General profile Environmental implementation represents a challenge in Italy with high regional variations in water and waste management. With regard to resource efficiency, Italy is pioneering voluntary agreements, and has one of thehighest levels of EMAS and Eco-labels in the EU. The adoption of the Collegato Ambientale was a major step forward towards environmental integration.
The main challenges with regard to implementation of EU environmental policy and law in Italy are to:
Improve waste management and water infrastructure, including waste water treatment, which are persistent concerns particularly in southern Italy.
Improve management of land use, flooding and air pollution in the centre and northern regions.
Designate remaining SACs. Improving the conservation status of habitats and species of EU interest by fully implementing the Natura 2000 instruments, using the regional Prioritised Action Frameworks to ensure a better integration of EU funds and a more strategic planning of investments.
Italy could perform better on topics where there is already a good knowledge base and good practices. This applies in particular to:
Use the opportunities for EIB loans and environmental investment with the ESIF support andthe EFSI. ESIF support can increase the quality and efficiency of public administration to develop a better model of environmental governance.
Use the proposed Green Act and the Committee on Environmental Taxation to make wide-ranging proposals.
Use the Integrated Project “GESTIRE 2020” [to update the Lombardy Natura 2000 Prioritised Action Framework] as an example for other Italian regions.
Points of Excellence
Where Italy has developed innovative approaches they could be shared with other countries. Good examples are:
Integrated environmental assessments & the userfriendliness of the webportal of the Ministry of Environment on EIA & SEA.
Regional Administrative Reinforcement Plans covering ESIF and national funds
The Committee on Environmental Accounting established by the Collegato Ambientale.
Innovative approaches developed by LIFE projects.
The BES (Benessere equo e sostenibile) indicators.