Slovakia is taking over the six-month EU rotating Presidency at a particularly testing time following on from the continuing fall-out of the Brexit vote. The future is far from certain, but it is clear that the time for business-as-usual is over.
The EEB is calling on the Slovak Presidency to help restore public confidence in the EU following the Brexit vote by promoting a greener, more sustainable Europe, where our negative impact on climate, biodiversity and public health in Europe and beyond is rapidly decreased in line with citizens’ expectations and scientific imperatives.
Jeremy Wates, EEB Secretary General, commented:
“We want to see Slovakia promoting an agenda of transformational change focused on people and the planet. The Brexit vote shows that people are dissatisfied with the status quo and want politicians to listen to their concerns. Successive opinion polls show that increased EU action on environmental protection has significant support among citizens across the EU. We now expect to see a change of direction across the EU and Slovakia has a significant role to play.”
Every six months at the rotation of the two EU presidencies, the EEB publishes an assessment of the outgoing Presidency and Ten Green Tests for the incoming presidency.
As regards the Dutch Presidency, the EEB praised its achievements on promoting the circular economy and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and recognised its considerable efforts on measures to tackle air pollution through the National Emissions Ceiling (NEC) Directive revision process, though expressed disappointment with the outcome so far from the NEC negotiations.
The EEB assessment is also critical of the Netherlands’ pursuit of a deregulatory agenda as well as its performance on trade, fisheries and climate change issues.