Federal Minister for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety
Four times a year, the Environment Ministers of the Member States and the Environment Commissioner meet in the Environment Council to further develop European environment policy and ensure sustainable development at global level.
European environment policy has changed significantly in the last ten years in particular. With the entry into force of the Treaty of Amsterdam in May 1999, promoting sustainable development became a stated aim of the European Union.
In June 2001, the Gothenburg European Council adopted the EU Sustainable Development Strategy, intended to provide a framework for the ecological, economic and social development of the Union. The Sustainable Development Strategy also strengthens the integration of environmental protection in other policy areas.
EU environment law has recourse to legal instruments relating to various areas of environment policy. Priorities are air quality, waste management, chemical safety, water and climate protection.