The effectiveness of EU environmental law depends on its implementation at Member State, regional and local levels. Implementation gaps are costly to society and materialise in various forms, such as reduced amenity values of surface waters with poor ecologic quality, and increased illness due to air and noise pollution.
The purpose of this study is to estimate the costs and foregone benefits for the EU from not achieving the environmental targets specified in the EU environmental legislation for seven policy areas: air and noise, nature and biodiversity, water, waste, chemicals, industrial emissions and major accident hazards, and horizontal instruments. This is done via deriving the environmental targets provided for by EU Directives and Regulations – with a focus on the targets to be achieved by 2018 – and comparing these targets with the respective environmental conditions. The impacts of any differences, i.e. implementation gaps, are the assessed and quantified in monetary terms.