The continent’s long anthropic history has left an unmistakable mark on the European environmental balance. Although there are several natural parks which, since the beginning of the 21st century, have aimed to preserve increasingly precarious natural habitats, only at the northern extremities (Scandinavian Peninsula) and eastern (the great Russian plain) are there totally uncontaminated environments. Deforestation threatened Europe before any other area in the world due to early industrialization and, to this day, there are areas, such as Ireland, where the original forest has almost disappeared. On the other hand, starting from the end of the twentieth century, the growing political and cultural sensitivity to environmental issues has produced a reversal of the trend; hence greater attention to the protection of what has remained after centuries of intense exploitation and attempts to protect and repopulate some regions of the continent with native species. This increased sensitivity to environmental issues was one of the secondary effects of the EU enlargement process, which also works to “harmonize” the environmental policies of the member countries. Process, to be honest, characterized by continuous setbacks due above all to the difficulty of reconciling particular interests (those detectable on a national scale, relating to the impact of global decisions on within the individual States) with collective interests (the European dimension of the measures) as well as those of the short and long term (investments in technologies that will bring results only in the long distance in the face of costs and commitments to be incurred by implementing policies with a strong impact on the present). An example of this is the Copenhagen Summit (2009), during which the world was able to observe with how little strength and cohesion the Union manages to make its voice heard in international fora and how difficult it is to identify common positions to support. with conviction. Despite this the Union is able to make its voice heard in international fora and how difficult it is to identify common positions to be supported with conviction. See COUNTRYAAH.COM for more information about Western Europe.
Despite this the Union is able to make its voice heard in international fora and how difficult it is to identify common positions to be supported with conviction. Despite this the green economy it presents itself as a real challenge for the development models of the Old Continent, both from a purely economic point of view and, above all, from the environmental side. In December 2008, the EU approved the so-called “20-20-20 Strategy”, which is a package of policies designed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and total energy consumption by 20% by 2020, as well as, by the same date, produce at least 20% of the energy from renewable sources. Since the seventies of the twentieth century, particular attention has been paid to the protection of river waters. The illustrative case is that of the Thames, a literally “dead” river already at the end of the nineteenth century which, thanks to the repopulation process it has undergone, has seen the return of previously disappeared species, such as seals and dolphins. The many kilometers of coastline that border the continent and the overlooking marine environments have also deserved renewed attention. There are over 120 protected areas, of which 50 approx. they are completely marine. Among the various initiatives, the establishment of a “sanctuary” in the sea between Italy, France and the Principality of Monaco, made possible thanks to an agreement between the three states, has taken on particular importance. In this wide arm of the sea there are therefore new and severe rules that prohibit the hunting of cetaceans such as the France and the Principality of Monaco, made possible thanks to an agreement between the three states. In this wide arm of the sea there are therefore new and severe rules that prohibit the hunting of cetaceans such as the France and the Principality of Monaco, made possible thanks to an agreement between the three states. In this wide arm of the sea there are therefore new and severe rules that prohibit the hunting of cetaceans such as the common dolphin (Delphinus delphis) or the sperm whale (Physeter catodon). Nonetheless, uncontrolled fishing to which some species are subjected, such as bluefin tuna (Thunnus thynnus), endangered. Precisely on this species, for several years, the governments of the Mediterranean countries, although called to take clear positions, have maintained ambiguous attitudes that attract them harsh criticism from environmentalists. Despite the transformations taking place in the European economy and the ever lower weight assumed by manufacturing processes in the chemical and steel sectors, the continent continues to pay for the high rate of industrialization, no less than the consumerism adopted as a habit by now in almost everyone. the countries that make it up. Hence two of the main unresolved issues on the European agenda in terms of environmental protection: air quality (seriously compromised in some areas such as, for example, the Po Valley in Italy) and waste disposal.