Sustainable operational waste programmes in EU Member States
18 April 2013, Recycling Portal
A new study of CEE bankwatcch networks offers evidence and guidelines for the development of sustainable Operational Programmes in EU Member States in the waste management sector.
In this sector where most countries in central and eastern Europe seriously lag behind EU standards and achievements. As a policy analysis it tries to directly link the European Waste Framework Directive and the new Cohesion Policy Regulation by understanding the Resource Efficient Europe Initiative.
The Cohesion Policy and other strategic documents that give directions on planning and spending the European Structural Funds give absolute priority to the first waste hierarchy steps i.e. prevention, preparation for re-use, recycling and composting, as set in the EU Waste Framework Directive (EC/2008/98).
The Resource Efficiency Initiative, which consists of the Resource Efficiency Flagship Initiative, the Resource Efficiency Roadmap and a European Parliament resolution, urges Member States to ensure full implementation of European waste legislation, including minimum goals for waste reduction through national waste management plans and strategies. It additionally emphasises that current goals for separate waste collection have to be further developed and that highest standards for material recovery have to be set. A smart design of certain policies can drive the European Union towards a more sustainable future.
However, threats that Member States will try to avoid this “roadmap” with an approach that prioritises end-of-pipe solutions such as incineration and landfill do exist, and the EC needs to closely monitor and evaluate regularly the performance of MSs as indicated in the conditionalities. The EC must act promptly if results do not follow or match the results of other MSs or reach the deadlines set in the environmental acquis. The EC has a set of measures which could be used to steer the MSs.
But at the moment – the study balances – “we can only guess how MSs will act in this new context where clear guidance is given prior to the planning of Operational Programmes”.
The full report “No time to waste – Cohesion funds programming for a resource-efficient Europe” an be downloaded from bankwatch.org.
Institution: EU Funds