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"Good intentions - few results" - EEB environmental assessment of Greek EU Presidency

01 July 2003, 16:32 CET

The European Environmental Bureau today issued its verdict on the Greek Presidency of the EU, giving a mixed picture of positive and negative outcomes related to the 10 Green Tests laid down by the EEB six months ago.<BR> <BR>The most disappointing outcomes of the Presidency's work were the conclusion in the EcoFin Council on environmental taxation on energy products, the outcome on the mid-term review of the Common Agriculture Policies, and the Environment Council’s compromise on environmental <BR>liability.<P>"In each of these cases the Greek Presidency was confronted with some Member States who insisted on weakening the measures, but, in the case of the liability compromise in particular, the desire to reach a conclusion took over from the need to produce quality legislation," said EEB Secretary General John Hontelez.<P>The EEB voices its appreciation for the Greek Presidency's work for the Spring Summit, particularly related to sustainable development and environmental policy integration, and the Greek Presidency is also praised for leading the EU in its struggle with other countries, particularly the U.S.A., to save the "Environment for Europe" process.<P>Other positive achievements include mobilising Environment Ministers to put pressure on the Convention on the Future of Europe to restore the environment/sustainable development content of the future EU Constitution to the level of the Amsterdam Treaty. However, the Prime Minister of Greece failed to ensure a new, short, mandate for the Convention to make proposals for revision of outdated Treaty policy chapters, such as those on agriculture, transport and cohesion.<P>The assessment is measured against the 10 Green Tests that the EEB sets at the beginning of each EU Presidency (contained within its Memorandum to the EU Presidency). View this in English or in Greek at the EEB's website, under the heading "Memoranda to the EU Presidencies".<BR>

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