The mid-term environmental assessment of the European Commission shows poor track record on important environmental fronts. The report, which was produced by the “Green 10” coalition of Europe’s largest environmental NGOs (including WWF EPO), reviews the progress of the Barrosso II Commission, which started its second term in 2010.
As stated in the introduction of the report, “any evaluation would not be complete without putting it in the context of the euro crisis that fully unfolded in the past two years and often dominated the agenda of the College of Commissioners. This crisis has obviously absorbed a large share of the Commission’s energy. But it is not acceptable that it has stood in the way of efforts to tackle the environmental and resource use crises.
These twin crises need to be confronted in parallel. Both are ultimately about wasting resources we do not have. Solving these multiple crises means thinking in a long-term perspective, namely about tomorrow’s consequences of today’s actions. They therefore require profound economic as well as societal changes. Business as usual is simply not an option.”
The outcomes of the assessment per policy area are presented below:
|EC President||José Manuel Durão Barroso||“some of his strategic decisions have weakened environmental protection”|
|Biodiversity & Nature||Janez Potočnik||4/10|
|Climate change||Connie Hedegaard||5.5/10|
|Cross-cutting issues||Janusz Lewandowski||4.5/10|
|Regional policy||Johannes Hahn||Proposed Cohesion Policy encourages environmental action, but lacks bite.|
|Industry & entepreneurship||Antonio Tajani||“While Tajani has extended the corporate social responsibility agenda, many fear that he continues to accede to industry demands.”|
|Internal market & services||Michel Barnier||+: Legislation proposal on environmental & social reporting by big companies||-: “Seen as defending vested interests and promoting French government positions”|
|Financial programming & budget||Janusz Lewandowski||EU Budget – business as usual. Climate scepticism.|
|Development||Andris Piebalgs||+: “Agenda for Change” with emphasis on sustainable agriculture & clean energy.||-: Reduced EC capacity on environmental and natural resource issues.|