A range of EU policies influence land use in Europe, even though spatial planning is a prerogative of the Member States. For example, the Water Framework Directive and the Floods Directive require Member States to establish planning at the scale of river basins. The Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) shapes our agriculture and forestry, which together cover about three-quarters of Europe’s land, and provides support for rural development. Cohesion Policy supports investments in a range of areas, from transport to urban regeneration, that in turn influence land use.
Milieu’s experts have assessed these links between EU policy and land use in a series of studies for the European Environment Agency . Moreover, Milieu associates, including Ric Eales and Bill Sheate of Collingwood Environmental Planning, bring experience with spatial assessment at urban and regional scales.
Key projects in this area include the following:
Updated Inventory and Assessment of Soil Protection Policy Instruments in EU Member States 2016-2017: This project has prepared an updated inventory of legislation, policy measures and other initiatives that Member States have put in place for soil protection. The project will assist the European Commission and Member States strengthen their efforts for the protection and sustainability of soil. The final report can be accessed here: http://ec.europa.eu/environment/soil/pdf/Soil_inventory_report.pdf
Evaluation of EU Policies and their direct and indirect impact on land take and land degredation, EEA, 2014: The EU’s 7th Environment Action Programme (2013) calls for the addressing of land degradation, including land take, and the Roadmap for a resource-efficient Europe (2011) states that by 2020, the direct and indirect impacts of EU policies on land use should be assessed. This study supported EU policy development in this area, providing analysis and methodology development to support the assessment of the impact of EU policies on land. More info...
Study on the impacts of EU sectorial policies on tropical deforestation and forest degradation, Joint Research Centre, 2015-2016: This study supports JRC’s work, including the ROADLESS-FOR project on links between roads and forest degradation, with input on policy dimensions related to deforestation. The study assesses the impact of the EU’s sectorial policies on tropical deforestation and forest degradation, including policies on transportation and related infrastructure, agriculture and mining. More info...
SOILCARE: Soil Care for profitable and sustainable crop production, H2020, 2015-2019: SOILCARE is a research project funded under the EU Horizon 2020 programme. The project has been awarded under the topic “SFS-2B-2015: Assessing soil-improving cropping systems”. The loss of soil fertility and the consequent massive use of expensive external nutrient inputs, is one of the difficulties of European crop production to remain competitive in the global market. SOILCARE addresses this by assessing various soil-improving cropping systems in terms of the required external inputs, profitability and environmental impacts. SOILCARE will test the soil-improving cropping systems on 16 study sites spread across Europe. More info...
Support to the development of European Environment Agency’s State of the Environment Report, EEA, 2010: Territorial cohesion and the environment. This study, carried out together with Collingwood Environmental Planning, had two parts. The first was an analysis of the emerging concept of green infrastructure. The second looked at the the links between Cohesion Policy, EU water management (in particular the Water Framework Directive), and the objective of territorial cohesion, which is set out in the Lisbon Treaty.
Study on environmental aspects of EU territorial and cohesion policy, European Environment Agency, 2010. After the Lisbon Treaty introduced territorial cohesion as an EU objective along with social and economic cohesion, several initiatives have sought to develop operational definitions for this concept. In our study, Milieu and CEP analysed its environmental aspects and the resulting implications for EU policy.