Fears that the new European Commission plans to scrap important policy initiatives in the fields of air quality and waste management have come true: the 2015 Commission Work Programme (CWP 2015) includes the withdrawal of the proposed new directive on waste management and its replacement with a new one. It also fails to clarify the fate of the proposed revision of the National Emissions Directive. The work plan also includes “fitness checks” for the Ecolabel & EMAS Regulations (results expected in 2015) and the Natura 2000 Directives 92/43/EEC on the conservation of natural habitats and of wild fauna and flora and 2009/147/EEC on the conservation of wild birds (due by 2016).
In an open letter addressed to the European Commission’s Vice-President Frans Timmermans, the Green 10 condemn the Commission’s decision to withdraw and retable the proposal on waste management and to create confusion about the air quality package.
Ariel Brunner, Birdlife Europe’s Head of EU Policy and current chair of the Green 10, stated: “This exercise undermines the Commission’s credibility. In trying to tame some of its critics, the Commission seems to be faithfully executing the ‘kill list’ developed by powerful industry lobby group, BusinessEurope, and then saying it will retable the air quality and waste proposals at a later stage. For a body that prides itself on delivering ‘better regulation’, this is spectacularly inefficient.”