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Parliament support for Juncker on environment eroding over attack on green legislation

Brussels, Thursday 15 January 2015
Five out of seven political groups, representing over 60 per cent of MEPs in the European Parliament, have shown they are against the European Commission’s proposal to withdraw environmental legislation from its 2015 Work Programme through group resolutions prepared earlier this week [1].

The Commission has come under fire for its intention to withdraw the waste package and potentially delay a proposal to clean up Europe’s air. The Social Democrats (S&D), Liberals (ALDE), Greens (Greens-EFA), Eurosceptics (EFDD) and Left (GUE-NGL) parties were all critical of the Commission’s intentions. Several groups urged the Commission to make sustainability a cornerstone of its political agenda and the S&D even called for trust between the Commission and Parliament to be restored, after a lack of transparency in the Commission’s work programme preparations.

Petr Hlobil, Campaigns Director at Bankwatch and current chair of the Green 10 [2], said: “The erosion of political support for the Juncker Commission over plans to withdraw draft legislation to clean up air and reduce waste should trigger a radical rethink. Most groups in the Parliament effectively told the Commission this week that it cannot backtrack on the environment and the Commission would be well advised to heed this advice. The EU cannot walk away from its responsibility to protect the environment and the health of its citizens.”

In 2014, EU ministers had already expressed their dissatisfaction at the Commission’s plan in the areas of waste and air quality and stated they wanted negotiations on both files to continue. Now that a majority of groups in the European Parliament have also expressed the same position, the Green 10 underlines the importance of continuing the negotiations on air quality and waste as a matter of urgency.

[1] Although every political group’s resolution was rejected as a whole, a majority of the political groups supported texts that opposed the withdrawal of the waste package and delay to the proposal on clean air.

[2] The Green 10 represents the 10 leading environmental organisations in Brussels: its members are the European Environmental Bureau, Transport & Environment, Birdlife, Greenpeace, WWF, CEE Bankwatch Network, Climate Action Network, Friends of the Earth Europe, Health & Environment Alliance, Naturefriends International.

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