Issue 38


January 2015

ENEP wishes you a Happy New Year 2015


Watch video -!mV96Mf

Speaking at the European Environment Bureau 40th anniversary event on the 1st December the new European Commissioner for the Environment and Fisheries, Karmenu Vella, sought to reassure the environmental NGOs that the Juncker strategy would not marginalise the environment agenda in pursuit of short term competitiveness.  Veila underlined that we do have a roadmap in the form of the 7th Environmental Action Programme: - "live well, within the planet's ecological limits". 

Former EEB Secretary General, John Hontelez spoke of the successes and failures of EU environmental policies since the 1980s.  In particular, he underlined how the EEB 2010 conference had successfully campaigned the incoming Belgian Presidency to convince the European Commission of the need for a 7th Environmental Action Programme.

On the 16th December 2014, the European Commission adopted its much awaited Work Programme for 2015.  The work programme sets out the priority actions for the next 12 months that it believes will make a real difference for jobs, growth and investment for Europe’s citizens.  The Commission is the institution responsible for the general interest of the EU and is the only institution that can initiate EU legislation.

European Commission President, Jean-Claude Juncker, has staked a lot of credibility on an ambitious €315bn scheme to boost private investment in European infrastructure projects throughout Europe as part of the new Work programme.

In launching the new European Commission work programme in Strasbourg on 16th December, First Vice President Franz Timmermans confirmed that the Commission is to ditch the Circular Economy package as part of the 80 proposals to be dropped.  Instead, he told MEPs in Strasbourg, the European Commission will replace it with a “more ambitious” legislation in 2015, and change pending air-pollution rules. Timmermans was presenting the European Commission’s 2015 work programme at the European Parliament in Strasbourg. Among the bills facing the axe was the Circular Economy package.

1. Defend and develop EU Environmental Policies - insist on full and ambitious implementation of the 7th Environmental Action Programme which was agreed between the three institutions, including by standing up to the Juncker Commission’s anti-environment and deregulation agenda;

Reducing climate change and preserving the environment, are the primary concern for the Latvian EU council presidency according the Kaspars Gerhards, Minister for Environmental protection and regional development.  The Presidency will focus on two main areas of action. 1. Finding new, workable solutions for the EU's emissions trading system and 2. Making progress ahead of the 2015 international climate negotiations. Other priorities include improvement of environmental quality and resource efficiency.

The European Green Leaf is a new initiative aimed at cities with a population between 50,000 and 100,000 inhabitants. It is an award that recognises commitment to better environmental outcomes, with a particular accent on efforts that generate green growth and new jobs. The objectives of the European Green Leaf are threefold:

1.  To recognise cities that demonstrate a good environmental record and commitment to generating green growth;

2.  To encourage cities to actively develop citizens' environmental awareness and involvement;

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