Council adopts strategy for integrating environmental concern into external policies

In time for the Barcelona summit, the General Affairs Council finalised its contribution to the debate on sustainable development. The Ministers adopted a strategy for the better integrating environmental considerations into EU’s external policy.

The strategy adopted by the General Affairs Council on 11
March 2002, is part of the Cardiff process and it provides input
for the EU’s position to the Johannesburg Summit in
August-September this year. The strategy emphasises that the EU

  • stress the need to de-couple economic growth from environmental
  • support existing multilateral agreements;
  • foster greater political and environmental responsibility
    through political dialogue, institutional and civil society
  • support improvements in human rights, democratisation and
  • ensure that the environmental factors are addressed in conflict
    prevention activities;
  • work towards an outcome of the WTO negotiations which will
    clarify the interface between the trade system and environmental
  • provide technical assistance, capacity building and
  • develop sustainability impact assessments to be included in
    future trade negotiations.

The strategy will be forwarded to the Barcelona


In June 1998 in Cardiff, the Council decided on a process to
integrate environmental considerations into all policy areas. This
so called Cardiff process was further strengthened by the
Gothenburg summit in June 2001, where a sustainable development
strategy was adopted (see also EURACTIV
18 June


The Barcelona summit takes place on 15-16 March. The UN
Johannesburg summit on sustainable development will begin on 26


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