Air quality is an issue of general, global interest, which requires the implementation of appropriate environmental policies, taking into account the essential connection between the world economy and the environment. Air is an important natural element of the environment, vital for human life and health, as well as for fauna and flora, and it needs to be protected by all means, including legal methods.
Lately, scientific studies and researches have shown that the chemical structure of the atmosphere is changing for natural or anthropogenic causes, which requires more effective monitoring of the impact of human activity on the atmosphere, doubled by the implementation of radical measures, including legal ones, meant to insure the protection of this environmental element.
The increase in the quantity of polluting gases eliminated into the atmosphere causes global warming, destroying the ozone layer and generating other imbalances in the natural environment.
In these conditions, and since pollution knows no political-administrative borders, being a global phenomenon, there is an absolute need for international cooperation based on conventions and treatises on this topic, or directives from international bodies and organisations, and at a national level, the environmental legislation must aim to protect the air in the troposphere as well as the other elements outside the troposphere, such as the ozone layer, which is part of the stratosphere.
In the dynamics of national and international regulations, an important threshold has been crossed - the recognition and granting of the fundamental right to environment. The applicable international documents formulate the idea of an individual right to a specific quality of the environment.
Certain documents consecrate yet another minimalistic perspective, according to which the right to environment is only infringed when the right to life itself is threatened, considering that only significant degradations of environmental quality may endanger the vital biological needs for the survival of mankind.
We must nevertheless stress that although there is no direct and unanimous recognition of a right to environment per se, an indirect acknowledgement of it can still be seen in the connection established between the fundamental human rights (the right to life, the right to health, the right to freedom, etc.) and the quality to the environmental factors, which underlines the fact that the compliance with the environmental dispositions is a prerequisite for insuring optimal life conditions.
We must also note that there has been a reversal of the environment - development relation. Thus, if in the beginning the environment could not be understood without development, it was later stipulated that sustainable development cannot exist without the existence of a quality environment
The protection of environmental factors, of the environment as a whole, is a major and ever more pressing issue, which should be of interest to all mankind, to all the states, and to all political and governmental decision factors. In this sense, at the level of the Member States of the European Union, it was necessary to draw and adopt coherent environmental policies and strategies, which would insure an effective protection of the natural and anthropological factors, on the medium and long term.
Environmental quality is a matter of general, global interest, which requires achieving appropriate environmental policies, taking into account the essential connection between the world’s economy and the environment.
The environmental policy is a method of organising, coordinating, and institutionalising the complex activity of protecting the environmental factors, meant to set the strategies, means, and their implementation techniques at a national, regional, and global level, with the purpose of insuring the preservation and development of the environment.
Within the European Union, the opportunity to draw and adopt an environmental policy was determined by the problems that surged following the rapid extension of pollution, a phenomenon that does not stop at the borders of one state or of Europe.
Thus, in a first instance, the general policy concerning the environmental protection within the European Union was formulated and defined, through the elaboration and implementation of the Environmental Action Programmes, following which the European Commission established the sectoral strategies in the field, starting from the Strategy for sorting waste and continuing with the EU Strategy for natural protection, the EU Strategy for air pollution, and the EU Strategy for water pollution. In the end, by adopting the Strategy for Sustainable Development, the environmental policy is permanently connected to the environmental issues that may appear, leading to new tendencies in the actions for environmental protection.
The efficiency of environmental policies in the European Union is materialized through improvements in the issues related to air quality, surface water quality, through the dissemination and delimitation of fauna protection areas, but there are still many contexts in which such approaches should be intensified, such as: global warming, deterioration of piscicultural fauna, decline in biodiversity.