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First Ministerial Conference "Environment for Europe"

21 June - 23 January 1991

Dobris Castle

The First Ministerial Conference, within the "Environment for Europe" process was held in 1991 at Dobris Castle in the then Czechoslovakia. Environment Ministers from 34 European countries, the United States, Brazil, Japan, various UN bodies, governmental and non-governmental organizations and institutions were present. The Commissioner for the Environment of the Commission of the European Communities were also present at the Conference. The conference discussed ways of strengthening cooperation to protect and improve the environment, and of long term strategies toward an environmental programme for Europe.

A set of basic guidelines for a Pan-European cooperation strategy was laid down. They include: need for intensified cooperation, introduction of ecological aspects in the process of transition of economies in central and eastern Europe; promotion of environmental considerations by financial and economic assistance; assistance to improve environment-related health conditions; and finally that each country shall bear responsibility for global environmental problems. The discussions resulted in a set of Conclusions of the Conference, in which the Ministers and the Commissioner addressed several issues of great importance to the further development of the "Environment for Europe" process. Furthermore, they called on the Commission of European Communities to prepare in cooperation with UN/ECE, a report describing the state of the environment in Europe (the later "Europe's Environment: the Dobris Assessment" of 1995). The need to develop an environmental programme for Europe in the light of this report was underlined. The programme would serve as the framework to improve coordination of national and international efforts in Europe, though focusing on central and eastern Europe. For more information please refer to the Conclusions of the Dobris Conference.