Volume 3 (2019)


Evaluation of the Directive 2008/50/EC on Ambient Air Quality.


Marina Langkamp and Vinicius Valente Bayma


1 – 25


An analysis of the intervention of the European Union on ambient air quality since 2008 with a specific focus on its effectiveness, efficiency, coherence, relevance, and EU added value.


The EU Directive 2008/50/EC on Ambient Air Quality and Cleaner Air for Europe is one of the actions taken at the European Levelto reach sustainable air quality levels that do not threaten the Environment and EU citizens across EU Member States. After over 10 years, it was considered appropriate to evaluate the EU intervention with the aim to comment, on its shortcomings and to provide policy recommendations. 

According to the EU “better regulation guidelines”, every assessment should use the evaluation criteria framework and investigate five main aspects of the intervention, namely effectiveness, efficiency, coherence, relevance and EU added value. Although this framework must guide every evaluation, the level of investigation implemented for each of the five criteria stills depends on the initiative being assessed, as well as the timing and data reliability.

The analysis of the five criteria demonstrated a solid difficulty in implementing EU-wide measures to improve air quality. Although there’s no doubt about the relevance, cohesion and EU-added value aspects of the Directive, its efficiency and effectiveness can be debated.


Available online.