HL Deb 25 June 1998 vol 591 cc51-2WA
Lord Gregson

asked Her Majesty's Government:

What was the outcome of the Joint Environment and Transport Council held in Luxembourg on 17 June. [HL2425]

Baroness Hayman

My right honourable friend the Deputy Prime Minister chaired the joint Transport and Environment Council in Luxembourg on 17 June. This was a historic occasion, as it was the first time the Councils of EU Transport and Environment Ministers had come together formally to discuss a wide range of issues. We are happy to report a successful outcome, taking forward the mandate on the Environment from the Cardiff European Council the previous day. We are also pleased that Cardiff gave an impetus to environmental integration, and that the Transport, Agriculture and Energy Councils were invited to start the process.

The joint Council unanimously agreed Conclusions which recognise the vital social and economic role of transport but agree that there are adverse environmental effects which mean that current trends in traffic growth are unsustainable. The Conclusions emphasise the importance of an integrated approach, and call for a wide range of policies and measures at Community and member state level, including national action plans, to promote sustainable mobility. The Conclusions also establish a process for the future, providing for the Commission to report to the Council on developments in the integration of environment and transport, and for the Council to meet again in joint session from time to time, to take stock of progress.