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European IPPC Bureau

Sevilla Process

Science at the heart of EU Policy

In order to reduce emissions to air, water and soil, the European Union regularly reviews and updates the environmental norms for more than 52.000 agro-industrial installations. To achieve this, experts from Member States, industry, environmental NGOs and services of the Commission discuss together every detail of these norms. This participatory, rigorous and transparent approach is known internationally as the Sevilla Process.

The European Integrated Pollution Prevention and Control Bureau (EIPPCB) has led and coordinated this process for the past 20 years from the Joint Research Centre in Seville. It has proven to be a process that makes consensus possible in legislation for sectors that have the largest impact on the environment. And the decisions are made based on scientific and techno-economic information and data, with the participation of all relevant stakeholders. This assists the efficient implementation of the Industrial Emissions Directive across the European Union.

For each sector, an ad-hoc working group updates the existing norms, after a detailed examination of all the facts and data related to the use of the latest state of the art processes and technologies. It is an extensive, inclusive and transparent exchange of information between stakeholders to define new Best Available Techniques and to discuss their inclusion in the reference documents on Best Available Techniques (the BREFs). Finally, Member States vote on these conclusions that will become environmental legislation after their formal adoption by the European Commission.