The Commission is calling on Cyprus to adopt, and subsequently review, a number of action plans and strategic noise maps, as required under Directive 2002/49/EC on the assessment and management of environmental noise. Noise caused by road, rail and airport traffic is the second main environmental cause of premature death in the European Union, after air pollution. It is estimated that noise causes 48,000 new cases of coronary heart disease every year in Europe.
The European Green Deal sets the zero pollution ambition for the EU, including for noise, which benefits public health as well as the environment and strives for climate neutrality. The Environmental Noise Directive defines a common approach to avoid, prevent or reduce harmful effects caused by exposure to environmental noise.
Member States must adopt noise maps and action plans and revise them on a periodic basis. According to the Directive, strategic noise mapping should be imposed in certain areas of interest as it can capture the data needed to provide a representation of the noise levels perceived within that area. Action plans should address priorities in those areas of interest and be drawn up by the competent authorities and should consult with citizens.
To date, the Cypriot authorities have not adopted the required noise maps and action plans for various major roads. The Commission is therefore sending a reasoned opinion to Cyprus. If Cyprus fails to act within two months, the case may be referred to the Court of Justice of the EU. (europa.eu/pixabay)