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In his imprecise and non-committal responses to many questions, Mr Vella demonstrated why having a Vice-President accountable for sustainability is essential to deliver on the commitments in the Lisbon Treaty. Mr Vella was also vague about how as Environment Commissioner he would ensure environmental issues were given proper weight in economic discussions and decision making.
Nor did he explain how he would balance the enforcement of existing regulations, such as those for air pollution which are widely breached, with new proposals to address urgent environmental issues.
Jos Dings, Director of T&E, commented: “Vella’s performance showed how important it is to assign Commissioners clear-cut responsibilities when it comes to promoting a sustainable future for Europe. If sustainability and the protection of our environment are everybody’s responsibilities, why are they part of nobody’s mission letter? President-elect Juncker needs to listen to today’s hearing and make a Vice-President accountable for Europe’s sustainable development.“