EP adopts Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) Directive.

A new Directive on the assessment of the effects of plans and programmes on the environment was adopted by the European Parliament.

The European Parliament adopted the Directive on the assessment of the effects of plans and programmes on the environment in second reading.

The aim of this Directive on Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) is to supplement the current system for assessing the environmental impact of projects, as laid down in Directive 85/337/EEC, by measures which apply already during the preparation of plans and programmes.

This upstream environmental assessment will apply to all plans and programs within the area of town and country planning and in the areas agriculture, traffic, waste and water management, telecommunications, tourism and energy. Member states, regional and local authorities will now have to consider environmental aspects in every step of their planning.

In its common position, the Council had proposed to exempt certain areas (e.g. defence projects) from the scope of the Directive. The Parliament did not follow these proposals and therefore the Directive will now go to the

Conciliation Committeebetween Parliament and Council.

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