It is with a heavy heart that I write this last editorial for the T&E Bulletin, having led this wonderful organisation since 2004. The obvious question to ask now is ‘Have we made a difference?’
Following the result of the UK referendum to leave the EU, the Green 10 – 10 of the leading environmental networks active at European level – said the result was a blow to the values of openness, inclusiveness, tolerance, respect and commitment to sustainability that the EU represents. In the coming debate on how the EU will live up to these values, it must become better in making the case for the values and benefits EU policies have brought for its citizens’ health and wellbeing, the Green 10’s directors wrote in letter to presidents Juncker, Tusk and Schulz, and Prime Minister Rutte. These include cleaner air, water and beaches, thriving wildlife, safer substances and green energy, to name but a few. These benefits should be communicated loud and clear and all the time.
Our job is to research, debate and campaign with the facts available. But in 2015 our work also saw us expose the real impact of transport on our climate, environment and health. Check out T&E's annual report to watch our story.
The reception will be opened by Catherine Bearder MEP, followed by the presentation of the report findings (T&E's Greg Archer), perspective from London (the Air Quality Manager) and closing remarks by Seb Dance MEP.
This is the T&E’s response to the European Commission’s public consultation on the handbook on Sustainability Impact Assessment (SIA).
In the two European Parliament hearings, which were clearly designed to avoid undue controversy, both Commissioners-designate Maroš Šefčovič and Violeta Bulc displayed a good grasp of their briefs but stayed clear of strong statements, let alone concrete commitments.
Following commissioner hearings at the European Parliament, the Green 10 believes MEPs must reject the Commission unless rigorous changes of mandates, job titles and re-allocation of posts are made along the lines indicated by the Green 10 in the letter to the Conference of Presidents and Conference of Chairs on 3 October 2014.
T&E's reaction to the Parliament's hearing of Commissioner-designate for Transport and Space Maroš ŠefčovičToday’s questioning of Commissioner-designate for Transport and Space revealed Maroš Šefčovič to be a capable and experienced Commissioner with a surprisingly good grasp of his brief.
Transport & Environment and the other members of the Green 10, the alliance of leading environmental NGOs at EU level, wrote to European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker to express our grave concerns over the direction the EU seems to be taking with the announcement of his new college of Commissioners.