The second meeting of the strategic High Level Group with the Benelux Directors-General Environment/Air Quality was held with North Rhine-Westphalia represented as an observer.

The Benelux consultations this time focused on the problem of enforcement of urban low (+0) emission zones, as regards foreign-registered vehicles. Benelux countries are also looking for a joint response to the current European proposals to revise the Air Quality Directive, and the new Belgian Air Quality Index was presented. Finally, a Benelux side-event during the planned 4th EU Clean Air Forum, to be organised in Rotterdam from 23-24 November, was discussed.  

All these topics are part of the further implementation of the Benelux countries' political declaration in this field, signed in November 2021.

Several topics discussed at this meeting will be further discussed by the partners before the European Environment Council on 20 June.

A study by the European Environment Agency (EEA) was also announced, showing that the current level of air pollution in the European Union -especially for children- is potentially very harmful to physical and mental health. For example, the current level of air pollution in the European Union leads to 1,200 premature deaths in children every year. The results of this study highlight the need for International (Benelux) cooperation, as many air quality problems are shared and air pollution knows no national borders.