21/05/2013: Europe's bathing waters continue to improve
Ninety-four per cent of bathing sites in the European Union meet minimum standards for water quality, according to the European Environment Agency's annual report on bathing water quality in Europe. Water quality is excellent at 78 % of sites and almost 2 % more sites meet the minimum requirements compared to last year's report.
17/05/2013: EUR 31.5 million in Commission funding to bring environmental solutions to market
The European Commission has launched a call for proposals of EUR 31.5 million for the best 45 eco-innovation projects. Businesses throughout Europe have until 5 September 2013 to put in their proposals for bringing novel environmental solutions to the market.
16/05/2013: Speech: "The importance of a holistic approach to key resources"
Thematic Debate 'Sustainable development and climate change: practical solutions in the Energy-Water nexus', UN, New-York
14/05/2013: Speech: "Shale gas in Europe - being consistent with a low carbon economy, managing health and environmental risks"
European Economic Congress in Katowice/Poland
06/05/2013: Statement concerning the uncontrolled burning of waste in Campania ("Terra dei fuochi")
06/05/2013: Investing in green infrastructure will bring multiple returns to nature, society and people
The European Commission adopted today a new strategy for encouraging the use of green infrastructure, and for ensuring that the enhancement of natural processes becomes a systematic part of spatial planning. Green Infrastructure is a tried and tested tool that uses nature to provide ecological, economic and social benefits. Instead of building flood protection infrastructure, for example, a green infrastructure solution would be to allow a natural wetland to absorb the excess water from heavy rain.
23/04/2013: Speech: "Towards Green Growth: Seizing Business Opportunities"
Green Economy Forum (Dublin Chamber of Commerce)
17/04/2013: Speech: "The only way forward is a sustainable economy"
Debate on Green Economy (at the Graduate Institute Geneva), Geneva
17/04/2013: Speech: "Cities will define our future"
7th European conference on sustainable cities & towns, Geneva
12/04/2013: Speech: "Let's Free our Oceans from this Plague"
International Conference on Prevention and Management of Marine Litter in European Seas, Berlin
09/04/2013: Helping companies and consumers navigate the green maze
The European Commission is proposing EU-wide methods to measure the environmental performance of products and organisations, and encouraging Member States and the private sector to take them up.
04/04/2013: Speech: "A throw away economy cannot be competitive"
UNEP meeting "Towards a Sustainable Economic Paradigm: from Labour to Resource Productivity", Paris
04/04/2013: Speech: "The private sector and the environment need each other"
Annual conference of the Green Growth Knowledge Platform (OECD), Paris
03/04/2013: Speech: "Environmental priorities"
Hearing with the Committee for European Affairs and the Committee for Sustainable Development (Assemblée Nationale), Paris
03/04/2013: Speech: "Getting the future we really want will depend on each one of us"
Debate organised by "Ecolo Ethik, de l'Ecole des Affaires Internationales des Sciences Po", Paris
25/03/2013: Bristol, Brussels, Glasgow and Ljubljana shortlisted for European Green Capital 2015
Bristol, Brussels, Glasgow and Ljubljana have been chosen as the four finalists to proceed to the next stage of the European Green Capital 2015 Award organised by the European Commission. The European Green Capital Award is an annual prize that goes to one city every year, singling out its environmental performance.
25/03/2013: "Water as an opportunity for sustainable development and international cooperation of Slovenia"
Speech at the discussion organised by Slovenian Foreign Ministry (ONLY IN SLOVENE), Ljubljana
21/03/2013: Commission takes Belgium to Court over untreated urban waste water
The European Commission is concerned that Belgium is failing to protect its citizens from the effects of untreated urban waste water. Despite earlier reminders from the Commission, a number of towns in Belgium are still failing to comply with European norms. Discharge of untreated urban waste water is a threat to human health and the environment. In an effort to urge Belgium to speed up its actions in this area, the Commission is therefore taking Belgium to the EU Court of Justice, on the recommendation of Environment Commissioner Janez Potočnik.
21/03/2013: Commission takes Italy to Court over inadequate treatment of waste landfilled in Lazio
The European Commission is taking Italy to Court for failing to comply with the requirements of EU waste legislation. Due to a narrow interpretation by the Italian authorities of what constitutes sufficient treatment of waste, the Malagrotta landfill in Rome and other landfills in the Lazio region are being filled with waste that has not undergone the treatment required by EU legislation. Landfills operating in breach of EU waste legislation constitute a serious threat to human health and the environment. On the recommendation of Environment Commissioner Janez Potočnik, the Commission is taking Italy to the EU Court of Justice.
21/03/2013: World Water Day 2013
Statement by EU Commissioner for Environment Janez Potočnik, EU Commissioner for Development Andris Piebalgs and EU Commissioner for Internal Market and Services Michel Barnier on the eve of World Water Day 2013
21/03/2013: March infringements package: main decisions
20/03/2013: Preparation Environment Council, 21 March 2013
The first Environment Council under the Irish Presidency will be held in Brussels on 21 March. Environment Commissioner Janez Potočnik and Commissioner for Climate Action Connie Hedegaard will represent the European Commission.
19/03/2013: Commission helps Member States to get on track with sustainable waste management
Every year, each European citizen generates over 500 kilos of municipal waste, more than one third of which goes directly to landfill. Whereas some Member States manage to put those resources to productive use, recycling or composting around 60% of their municipal waste, others struggle to manage it.
19/03/2013: Speech: "Raw Materials: Not just about economics but physics!"
3rd Annual European Raw Materials Conference, Brussels
19/03/2013: Speech: "Waste is not a problem – it is an opportunity"
Seminar on improving implementation of the waste legislation in selected Member States - Brussels, 19 March 2013
18/03/2013: Speech: "Let's Clean up Europe!"
Launch of new European litter prevention network - Brussels, 18 March 2013.
13/03/2013: The uncoordinated use of coastal and maritime areas is currently resulting in competition for maritime and coastal space and inefficient use of marine and coastal resources.
Today the Commission launched a proposal to improve the planning of maritime activities at sea and the management of coastal areas. The proposal – which takes the form of a draft directive – aims to establish a common European framework for maritime spatial planning and integrated coastal management in EU Member States, with a view to ensuring that the growth of maritime and coastal activities and the use of resources at sea and on coasts remain sustainable.
13/03/2013: Questions and Answers on proposed Directive on Maritime Spatial Planning and Integrated Coastal Management
Why is the Commission proposing a Framework Directive on Maritime Spatial Planning and Integrated Coastal Management? The uncoordinated use of coastal and maritime areas is currently resulting in competition for maritime and coastal space and inefficient use of marine and coastal resources.
11/03/2013: Commissioners Potočnik and Damanaki welcome progress within CITES for global protection of shark species threatened by unsustainable trade
We warmly welcome the decisions at the CITES meeting today to grant extra protection to five shark species threatened by unsustainable international trade.
07/03/2013: "Sustainable use of phosphorus"
Speech by Environment Commissioner Janez Potočnik, 1st European Sustainable Phosphorus Conference - opening of the second day of the conference, Brussels
07/03/2013: "Making waste a resource and moving towards a truly circular economy"
Speech by Environment Commissioner Janez Potočnik, "Zero Waste Europe" Conference (at the European Parliament), Brussels
07/03/2013: What should we do about plastic waste? New Green Paper opens EU-wide reflection
Plastic has become an unavoidable material in our modern world. Plastics are versatile and durable, but this durability can make disposal problematic. A Green Paper published by the European Commission today aims to launch a structured discussion about how to make plastic products more sustainable throughout their life cycle and reduce the impact of plastic waste on the environment.
06/03/2013: Speech by Environment Commissioner Janez Potočnik
Moving in the right direction – cleaner transport for improved health and sustainable economic growth, European Mobility Week Award Ceremony, Brussels
06/03/2013: Transport and Environment: Aberdeen and Zagreb win EU sustainable mobility awards
The European Commission has announced the winners of the 2012 European Mobility Week Award and of the Sustainable Urban Mobility Plans Award. The cities were presented with their awards by European Commissioners Siim Kallas and Janez Potočnik at a joint award ceremony in Brussels, Belgium (Théâtre du Vaudeville) on 6 March.
06/03/2013: Speech by Environment Commissioner Janez Potočnik
Forum for the future of agriculture - session: sustainable intensification and resource efficiency, Brussels
01/03/2013: New timber regulation comes into force
On 3 March, new legislation comes into effect to counter the trade in illegal timber. The new EU Timber regulation will affect everyone in the wood trade. It prohibits the placing of illegally harvested timber on the European market in an effort to tackle the problem of illegal logging across the world. Illegal logging has severe economic, environmental and social impacts: it is associated with deforestation and climate change, it can undermine the efforts and livelihoods of legitimate operators, and it can also contribute to conflicts over land and resources.