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European Parliament should reject Junckerís environmentally unsustainable Commission
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7 October 2014 | Green 10 press release

After following the hearings of the EU Commissioner-Designates in front of the European Parliament, the Green10 Coalition confirms its strong concern over President-Elect Juncker’s attempt to downgrade the environment in Europe and asks the European Parliament to reject the Commission.

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As put forward in our open letter to President Schulz the Green10 deplore that the structure of the new European Commission, the mission letters, and the choice of Commissioners reveal a roll-back of existing EU commitments on sustainable development, resource efficiency, health, air quality, biodiversity protection and climate action.

Despite the explicit requests made by the European Parliament through its President Schulz to President-elect Juncker, prior to the hearings, during the hearings itself and in follow up to the hearings, no changes have been made.

On the contrary, some very unconvincing arguments have been put forward against making changes, such as that no-one needs to be given responsibility for sustainable development because it is everyone’s responsibility. That is not overcoming silo thinking, it is naïve at best.

Worse still was the misrepresentation of the 7th Environmental Action Programme (7EAP) as a ‘guidance’ to the new Commission of which only ‘relevant’ elements need to be ‘monitored’ as part of the European Semester process.

This is simply unacceptable as the 7EAP is a legally binding commitment that was negotiated and agreed by Commission, Member States and European Parliament little over a year ago.

President-elect Juncker cannot ignore these legally binding commitments or the voices of the democratically elected body of the EU.

The Green 10 reminds the Members of the European Parliament that, as the latest Eurobarometer shows, despite the economic crisis, 95% of the polled citizens said that protecting the environment is important to them personally and that more should be done. It shows that a solid majority of citizens support EU environmental legislation and asks for more forceful implementation. It shows no public demand for environmental deregulation.

Against this backdrop, we believe the European Parliament must reject the Commission unless rigorous changes of mandates, job titles and re-allocation of posts are made along the lines indicated by the Green 10 in the letter to the Conference of Presidents and Conference of Chairs on October 3rd.

The EP should make clear that EU citizens and their representatives can only accept a Commission that takes seriously environmental sustainability, people’s health and much needed transformation of Europe’s economy.

 

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