The noise directive is finally approved

After two readings and a conciliation process, the Council and the Parliament agreed on the final wording of the noise directive.

After almost two years of discussions in the European Parliament and the Council, an agreement was finally reached on 27 February. The main issues agreed upon were:

  • A new draft directive on tackling noise from rail, road, air traffic and building sites should be proposed by 2006. It should cover the gaps in the present legislation.
  • A review of all existing Community measures on noise should be published within 18 months.
  • The basic goal of the directive should be to “avoid, prevent and reduce” noise, and not only “combat” it as stated in the original proposal.
  • The deadline for establishing the strategic noise mapping was pushed forward two years to 30 June 2008.


In July 2000, the European Commission issued a Framework Directive on the Assessment and Management of Environmental Noise. It aims to collect knowledge on noise pollution and lays the basis for the development of future action plans at local, national and EU levels. The main feature of the proposal is the introduction of "noise mapping" for urban agglomerations with more than 100,000 inhabitants and for the areas near major roads, railways and airports. The Commission's proposal does not seek to set common European-wide noise limits.


The jointly adopted text will now go to the plenary of the European Parliament and to the Council for formal approval. The Parliament has scheduled the plenary debate for April 2002.



Life Terra

Funded by the LIFE Programme of the EU

The content of this publication represents the views of the author only and is his/her sole responsibility. The Agency does not accept any responsibility for use that may be made of the information it contains.

Subscribe to our newsletters