Environmental protection belongs in accordance with the Article 4 par. 2 letter e) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union between joint powers of the European Union and the Member States. In terms of vertical division of powers, this means that Member States and the Union engage in this field while respecting the principle of subsidiarity and proportionality. The European Union adopts in the field of protection of the single components of the environment mainly framework programs and directives, aimed at defining the general objectives, while the choice of tools to achieve them is usually left to the discretion of Member States. Given that the directive which is the most common act of secondary legislation in this area can be transposed into national law only in the form of generally binding legal act, its objectives at the national level are contained in national laws. Specific conditions are then further laid down by the decree of the responsible department - in the case of environmental protection particularly the Ministry of Environment of the Slovak Republic and the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development of the Slovak Republic, in cooperation with other central State administration authorities.
The contribution focuses primarily on the legal regulation of one of the components of the environment - air, which is an important factor influencing the quality of life of the population, but the rules defined in this area also have considerable impact on the economy of the country. The work provides a comparison of Slovak legal acts and rules enshrined in primary and secondary EU law, as well as its non-binding acts.