ENEP met with Commissioner Potocnik to discuss the role of professional networks
An ENEP delegation led by Kristof De Smet, President of the European Network of Environmental Professionals (Belgium), met with Commissioner Potočnik this month to discuss ENEP’s role as a complimentary communication network to contribute to the equal and effective application of EU environmental law. Kristof De Smet was accompanied by Calin Baciu, Professor at the Babes-Bolyai University, Member of Romanian Environmental Association (Romania), Virgínia Domingo Reig, President at the Collegi d'Ambientòlegs de Catalunya (Spain), Adam Donnan, Chief Executive at the Institution of Environmental Sciences (UK) and Simon Pascoe, Project Officer at the European Network of Environmental Professionals. Janez Potočnik underlined the two major challenges of his mandate (which comes to a close in the summer), the first being the economic and financial crisis and its impact on environmental policies: Commission initiatives not linked to jobs and growth risked certain failure at the level of the College of Commissioners unless they were clearly linked to economic development and job creation, hence the high level resource efficiency and circular economy campaigns. The second fact was that a wide variety of environmental legislation was already in place at the beginning of Potočnik’s mandate leaving effective implementation and extent of disparities throughout Europe as the main issue. Commissioner Potočnik concluded the meeting by confirming his interest to see ENEP and DG Environment cooperate fully in complementing existing statutory networks like IMPEL across Europe. ENEP has now been invited to a follow-up meeting on the 28th April with DG Environment to go through all the possibilities for cooperation including a greater involvement of the association’s experts in the DG Environment working groups as a first step.