On 6th February the European Commission adopted the Environmental Implementation Review (EIR), a new tool to help deliver the benefits of EU environmental law and policies for businesses and citizens through better implementation. It aims to address the causes of implementation gaps and find solutions before problems become urgent and reach the stage of infringements.

According to the Commission, full implementation of EU environmental legislation could save the EU economy €50 billion every year in health costs and direct costs to the environment. The EU waste policy alone could create an additional 400,000 jobs by 2020, and full implementation of water legislation could bring annual benefits of nearly €2.8 billion.

The EIR package (adopted the 3rd February 2017) includes 28 country reports which map national strengths, opportunities and weaknesses; a Communication identifying common challenges across countries, and suggested actions for improvement for all EU Member States presented in an Annex.

As regards waste management, prevention is still a major challenge for all Member States, 6 of them having not yet succeeded in reducing the amount of biodegradable municipal waste sent to landfill.

More information is available on the website of the EU Commission: http://ec.europa.eu/environment/eir/index_en.htm