EU legislation

Some 80 % of Dutch legislation on the environment is derived from EU legislation. The national Environmental Management Act, which sets out how the environment is to be protected, is based on EU legislation and regulations.

The Netherlands contributes to the development of EU policies on the environment and to other policy areas with either direct or indirect bearing on creating a sustainable living environment in Europe and the Netherlands.

The main political driving force for improving the quality of the environment and human health is the EU Treaty and the body of legislation to be adopted by the Member States. This covers aspects ranging from protecting ecosystems and biodiversity, improving water supply, to reducing noise pollution.

EU environmental regulations have a major impact on national policy, for instance:

  • Climate change: The EU has an agreement to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases in 2020 by 20 % on 1990 levels.
  • Sustainable Consumption and Production: The EU is implementing an ambitious Action Plan to stimulate sustainable production and consumption in key economic sectors such as food, transport, and energy. This is a crucial stepping stone to making the economies of the EU Member States sustainable and resource efficient.