Environmental policymaking, government actions, current national priorities all effect the development of a National Environmental Action Plan (NEAP). A NEAP should include reference to all existing national documents and government programmes, databases, and current debates within the national legislative. Changes in environmental law, legislation effecting industry and general social and economic policy changes in a country all have an impact upon the development of a NEAP.
The Environmental Programme for Europe recommends strengthening administrative procedures for interministerial consultation on policy-making and legislation affecting the environment, in particular by fully considering the impacts of legislative proposals and other policy recommendations on the environment and human health. It further recommends the promotion of the principles of sustainable development and pollution prevention in government activities, and seeking the full participation of all sectors of the community in moving towards sustainable development.
Environmental issues are complex, and many have political implications that need to be addressed. At an early stage, before an environmental project is implemented, a solid political commitment therefore needs to be made in order to legitimize the activity, ensure that resources are committed, raise the visibility of the project to foster its replication, and provide leadership in the direction local initiatives should follow. Those responsible for project implementation ("project implementers") are also expected to inform elected and community representatives, and the general public, about the progress and outcome of projects to which they have given their commitment. Most projects are designed to address well recognized environmental issues, since these readily gain public support and acceptance. In these cases, it can also be easier to mobilize public involvement, particularly where a change in lifestyle is demanded. Political support is equally essential in initiating projects where real environmental concerns are identified but where these may not be subjects that are highly visible to the general public.