Conciliation agreement on ozone in ambient air

The Conciliation Committee between the European Parliament and the Council reached a compromise on the directive on summer time ozone levels. The compromise foresees that Member States will have to ensure that WHO standards for ozone levels are not exceeded more than 25 days each year from 2010 onwards.

Main elements of the compromise:

  • Member States will have to take the necessary steps to ensure that the World Health Organisation (WHO) limit of 120 micrograms of ozone per cubic metre is not exceed for more than 25 days by 2010;
  • Member States will commit to a non-binding long-term objective of not exceeding this WHO value at all anymore by 2020.


The Parliament's rapporteurChris Davies(ELDR, UK) called the agreement "a good compromise".


Ground-level ozone, or summer smog, has serious negative effects on human health, ecosystems and vegetation.

In June 1999, the Commission proposed a directive on ozone in ambient air as a sub-daughter directive of the EU's 1996 air quality framework directive. The proposed legislation sets target values to be attained by 2010 for ozone concentrations in the ambient air and called on the Member States to draw up plans or programmes to attain them.

Member States and the European parliament had different views on the target dates and values of the ozone directive. After a second reading in the Parliament on 13 June 2001, a conciliation procedure was necessary to find a compromise between Council and Parliament.


The agreement will be formally appproved without discussion (as an 'A' point) at a forthcoming conciliation meeting (probably on 22 November) and is likely to go before the full Parliament at third reading in January 2002.


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