When Germany took over the Presidency of the EU Council in spring 2007, the idea was to use this opportunity to develop an "ecological industrial policy" within EU institutions: European strategies, programmes and regulations from a range of political fields should be better used to stimulate innovation and support innovative individuals, to regulate competition in the interests of environmental efficiency and to open up international markets.
The first part of the project was to present an inventory of important European policies that have the potential to contribute to a European ecological industrial policy. Various comprehensive strategies (including the Lisbon Strategy, the EU Sustainable Development Strategy, etc.) and more than 20 individual policies (ETAP, CIP, ELER, REACH, WEEE, etc.) and overarching measures (EUWI, ETI, etc.) of the European Union were analysed in terms of their effects on environmental innovation. Initiatives to encourage environmental innovation brought in during former EU Council Presidencies were also discussed. This assessment of policies served as a starting point for further in-depth analyses and was used to draft a policy paper in preparation for the informal Council of Environment Ministers held in June 2007.