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How green is the Prodi Commission? - EEB

23 July 2002, 17:50 CET

Environmental organisations publish their green midterm review

Today major European environmental organisations grouped under the 'Green Eight' umbrella have published a joint review of the Prodi Commission's environmental policies for the first half of its mandate.

According to the environmental NGOs (1), during the first two and a half years of its term of office, the main positive achievements of the Prodi Commission are:

  • the Commission's leading role at the international level in securing the ratification of the Kyoto Protocol on climate change;

  • the courageous proposal for a radical reform of the common fisheries policies, which for the first time fully addresses the problem of unsustainable over-fishing and depletion of fish stocks ;

  • the initiative to review the common agricultural policy, with a view to cease financial support for unsustainable, environmentally destructive intensive agriculture.

The Green 8 environmental review identifies as clear failures of the Prodi Commission:

  • the lack of international leadership on sustainable development, especially in the run-up to the Johannesburg Summit ;

  • the roll-back of the Commission on waste policy, notably its failure to address growing waste generation ;

  • the disregard for environmental concerns in transport policies, despite the alert given by the European Environment Agency ;

  • the total inadequacy of the proposed Directive on Environmental Liability, which, if adopted without substantial changes, would fail to ensure that polluters pay.

On genetically modified organisms (GMOs), the Commission has produced some good legislation, but only under very strong public and political pressure. In general, the influence of the agri-biotech multinationals on the Commission's policies remains too strong.

On the new EU chemicals policy, the Commission has presented an ambitious programme to control all chemicals and substitute unacceptable hazardous substances. However, the real legislative proposals on this issue have been delayed due to internal conflicts and external pressure.

(1) The 'Green 8' are: BirdLife International, Climate Action Network, European Environmental Bureau, Friends of the Earth Europe, Friends of Nature International, Greenpeace, European Federation for Transport and Environment, WWF
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