Environment policy increasingly cuts across all policy areas and contributes to shaping our future. It is a driver of structural change. This implies new responsibilities, risks and opportunities.
There are plentiful economic opportunities: the potential for eco-industries is huge and Europe should take advantage - and even drive the development - of booming global markets. Socially, there are close links between a sound environment and social equity and cohesion. On the other hand, some sectors and groups may temporarily be more aff ected than others. An increasing part of the overall policy package will be to take these potential impacts into account, and try to mitigate them.
Environment policy increasingly has to integrate economic and social dimensions and also has to be integrated into sectoral policies to reach its intended objectives. We must be aware of its possible consequences in other policy areas, become more cost-eff ective and promote synergies whenever possible. Integration is the key to a sustainable future.