8th EPA Network plenary meeting, Helsinki

The Network of Heads of European Environment Protection Agencies held its 8th meeting in Helsinki, Finland, on 22-24 April 2007. There were representatives from agencies from 19 countries, as well as from the European Commission and the European Environment Agency.

The General Director of the Finnish Environment Institute welcomed the Heads of Agencies. In the opening session there was an overview of EEA activities as well as a presentation on the environment in Finland.

The following session covered the progress of work of the interest groups. The IG on Better Regulation would focus on Water policy and had proposed a meeting focusing on the Water Framework Directive. The IG on Natural Resources invited EPAs to join a visit to Brussels where a paper on Natural Resources would be presented at the end of June.The proposed work of the IG on biodiversity was welcomed. There was a proposal to look at quality assurance of quality indicators of processes and to compare quality indicators for processes between EPAs. This would be followed up at the next meeting in Slovenia.

There was a session on Shared Environmental Information Systems where the Commission gave an overview of all the components of SEIS and the EEA gave a briefing of the current and imminent activities directly involving the countries. There was also a discussion on research opportunities and relevant networks.

It was agreed to draft a communication from the EPA Network to the Commisson relating to the revision of the Construction Products Directive.

The role of the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) was presented. ECHA will start its work on the 1st June.