Right to a healthy environment in the European Union especially in the context of the war in Ukraine

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EESRK nuomonė: Right to a healthy environment in the European Union especially in the context of the war in Ukraine

Key points


  • highlights the urgent need to improve environmental protection for fundamental rights in the EU and beyond, exacerbated by the environmental damage caused by the war in Ukraine, which hosts 35 % of biodiversity in Europe. Ramifications include damage to human physical and mental health, ecosystem degradation, air and water pollution, and contamination of arable and pasture fields directly threatening agricultural production and the global food security;
  • calls on the EU to support documenting, mapping and measuring those consequences, pursuing legal protection of the environment and ensuring accountability of Russia's aggression;
  • calls on the Commission and the Council to take steps to identify the adverse environmental impacts of Russia's illegal war against Ukraine and their human rights implications. The importance of recognising ecocide in EU legislation can help to hold Russia's actions accountable, reflecting the environmental and ecological harm caused;
  • urges that the EU must help protect Ukraine's environment and repair the environmental damage caused by the war. All green and sustainable reconstruction efforts will be carried out in compliance with SDGs, international ILO standards and the principles of social conditionality as well as in line with EU environmental law, which would enable Ukraine to accede to the EU;
  • stresses that human health and the quality of the environment cannot be separated – the health of ecosystems, animals and people are interconnected – and that the EU must safeguard this right;
  • encourages all Members States and European institutions to deepen their efforts to improve the effectiveness of existing legal tools, as effectiveness in practice is often lacking.