Portuguese EU Presidency given environmental wish list

The European Environmental Bureau (EEB) has produced a top-ten list of urgent environmental action that it hopes will be undertaken by the Portuguese EU Presidency.

Portugal leads the EU for the first half of this year (see related story) and the EEB, an environmental lobby group, doesn’t want environmental issues to be sidelined.

Included in the EEB’s wish list are:

  • treaty revision that would allow NGOs to take the EU to court over failures to protect the environment – something that is possible in most EU member states
  • a public Environment Council debate on the environmental aspects of the EU’s accelerated accession plans for Central and Eastern European countries as well as a public awareness campaign in accession countries on the benefits of EU environmental policies (see related story)
  • an assessment of the consequences of the failed Seattle World Trade Organisation talks
  • support for the European Parliament’s lower threshold for GM content in food
  • clear guidance for the development of the 6th Environmental Action Programme
  • support for the Ospar agreement on an end to ocean pollution within the EU’s work toward a Water Framework Directive (see related story)
  • no watering down of the End-of-Life Vehicles Directive (see separate story in this section)
  • establishment of a Common Position among EU member states on National Emissions Ceilings, with an agreement that goes at least as far as the EC’s proposal for maximum air pollutant levels (see related story)
  • establishment of a Common Position on Large Combustion Plants Directive that includes existing plants
  • agreement among member states for more co-ordination between national and EU ecolabelling efforts

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