07/03/2014: Commission welcomes agreement on Maritime Spatial Planning
The European Commission welcomes the positive outcome of the informal trilogue on the draft for a Framework Directive for Maritime Spatial Planning. If confirmed by the Council and the European Parliament, the Directive will help Member States cooperate more closely over cross-border sea areas, enabling them to take full account of land-sea interactions when developing their Maritime Spatial Planning.
06/03/2014: Statement by Commissioner Potočnik following the agreement concerning the Commission’s proposal to strengthen waste shipment inspections
It is not tolerable that the environmental and health hazards caused by the waste we produce in Europe are simply exported to other parts of the world, often to places ill-equipped to deal properly with it. That is why the Commission recently proposed to clamp down on illegal waste shipments by tightening EU rules. I am delighted that today there has been a breakthrough, with the European Parliament, Council and Commission finding an agreed way forward to allow this file to be rapidly adopted.
06/03/2014: "Working together for a better future and quality of our lives, within the limits of our planet"
Speech by Environment Commissioner Janez Potočnik, Panel discussion on the 7th EAP (Environment Action Programme), Berlin
05/03/2014: Commissioner Janez Potočnik welcomes the political agreement reached on Invasive Alien Species
Following an agreement reached today between the European Parliament and the Council on the proposed Regulation on the prevention and management of the introduction and spread of invasive alien species, Environment Commissioner Janez Potočnik said:
"I welcome the agreement reached today on the Commission's legislative proposal to tackle the challenges associated with invasive species, which are a major, and growing, cause of biodiversity loss. This would deliver on a key commitment set out in the EU Biodiversity Strategy to 2020..."
05/03/2014: EU aims to reduce 'dramatic consequences' of plastic waste
04/03/2014: The Declaration of HOPE
Yesterday I challenged the participants of the Healthy Oceans - Productive Ecosystems (HOPE) conference and asked them to prepare and agree on a call for action. Today I am pleased to receive the "Declaration of HOPE" they have endorsed. This Declaration offers some very good guidelines for our future work in this area.
Now we have to make sure that these words will turn into action. The protection of marine environment deserves efforts from everybody. The European Commission, working with Member States, the Regional Sea Conventions and all stakeholders, stands ready to play its part.
The Declaration of HOPE
03/03/2014: Wildlife in danger of extinction
03/03/2014: New studies strengthen the case for boosting flood protection and switching to greener taxes
Two studies published by the European Commission today show how environment policy can spur economic growth by boosting flood protection and making more of a switch to greener taxes. One produces more evidence about the overall economic benefits from timely investment in defences against flooding, and the other highlights the advantages of moving the tax burden away from labour and towards resource use and pollution.
03/03/2014: "Together we can save our seas"
Speech by Commissioner Janez Potočnik, Opening address to ‘HOPE’ (Healthy Oceans – Productive Ecosystems) marine conference, Brussels
28/02/2014: Preparation Environment Council, 03 March 2014
24/02/2014: Your Concern: Animal testing in Italy
20/02/2014: Turning the tide on Europe's Oceans and Seas
A new report published today paints a worrying picture of Europe's seas. The Commission's analysis, which will be presented at the "Healthy Oceans – Productive Ecosystems" (HOPE) conference in Brussels on 3-4 March, shows a marine environment that will require urgent efforts...
20/02/2014: European Commission takes Estonia to Court over Access to environmental Information
The European Commission is taking Estonia to Court over shortcomings in its legislation on access to information regarding the environment. Under EU legislation, Member States have to ensure that citizens have easy access to information on the environment held by public authorities.
20/02/2014: Commission takes Denmark to Court over water management problems
The European Commission is taking Denmark to Court for a failure to present plans for managing its river basins. These plans are essential to put the measures in place to achieve the objective of 'good status' for Danish waters by 2015 and...
20/02/2014: Commission takes action against UK for persistent air pollution problems
The Commission has launched legal proceedings against the UK for its failure to cut excessive levels of nitrogen dioxide, a toxic gas. Nitrogen dioxide is the main pre-cursor for ground-level ozone causing major respiratory problems and leading to premature death.
14/02/2014: Presentation of European Commission 2014 Work Programme and the achievements of the mandate (only in Slovene)
Speech by Environment Commissioner Janez Potočnik in the National Assembly of Republic of Slovenia (Ljubljana, Slovenia)
07/02/2014: Commission consults on how EU can fight against dramatic increase in wildlife trafficking
The Commission has launched a public consultation on how the EU can be more effective in combating wildlife trafficking. This comes in response to a recent global surge in poaching and illegal wildlife trade, which is now at unprecedented levels for some species. More than 1000 rhinoceroses were poached in South Africa in 2013, compared to 13 in 2007, for example, and rhino horn is now more valuable than gold. The EU is a major destination market and an important transit point for illegal wildlife products, with organized crime playing an increasing role.
07/02/2014: Questions and answers on wildlife trafficking
04/02/2014: Generation Awake says Stop Wasting Waste!
The latest phase of the European Commission's 'Generation Awake' campaign focuses on the environmental, economic, social and personal consequences of using resources unsustainably. The campaign aims to make consumers aware of the consequences their consumption patterns have on natural resources, illustrating the benefits if they choose to act differently. It centres round a fully interactive website available in all 24 official EU languages, where cartoon characters show the environmental impact of everyday purchasing decisions.
23/01/2014: European Commission takes Slovenia to Court for pollution problems from waste disposal
The European Commission is taking Slovenia to Court for its failure to comply with the requirements of EU waste legislation. The Commission's concerns relate to two illegal landfills containing hazardous waste, one near the centre of Celje, and another in nearby Bukovzlak. Landfills operating in breach of EU waste legislation can be a serious threat to human health and the environment. Slovenia had agreed to address the problem, but slow progress has led the Commission to call Slovenia before the EU Court of Justice.
23/01/2014: Commission takes Bulgaria to Court over illegal landfills
The European Commission is concerned that Bulgaria is failing to protect its citizens from the effects of bad waste management. Despite earlier warnings from the Commission, numerous Bulgarian landfills are still operating in breach of EU waste and landfill legislation, representing a serious risk for human health and the environment. In an effort to urge Bulgaria to speed up its actions in this area, the Commission is taking Bulgaria to the EU Court of Justice, on the recommendation of Environment Commissioner Janez Potočnik.
23/01/2014: European Commission asks Court to impose financial penalties on Italy
The European Commission is referring Italy to the EU Court of Justice for its failure to include rules on animal testing into its domestic legislation. This is an issue on which there is considerable public concern, and Directive 2010/63/EU on the protection of animals used for scientific purposes was to be enacted in national legislation by 10 November 2012. On the recommendation of Environment Commissioner Janez Potočnik, the European Commission is asking the Court to impose penalty payments of EUR 150 787 per day.
23/01/2014: January infringements package: main decisions
In its monthly package of infringement decisions, the European Commission is pursuing legal action against Member States for failing to comply properly with their obligations under EU law. These decisions covering many sectors aim to ensure proper application of EU law for the benefit of citizens and businesses.
22/01/2014: European Commission recommends minimum principles for shale gas
Today the European Commission adopted a Recommendation aiming to ensure that proper environmental and climate safeguards are in place for "fracking" – the high-volume hydraulic fracturing technique used notably in shale gas operations. The Recommendation should help all Member States wishing to use this practice address health and environmental risks and improve transparency for citizens. It also lays the ground for a level playing field for industry and establishes a clearer framework for investors.
22/01/2014: Questions and answers on the shale gas initiative
Why is there a need for EU action on hydrocarbons using high-volume hydraulic fracturing (e.g shale gas)?