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Juli 2014

10/07/2014: Joint statement by Janez Potočnik, Commissioner for the Environment and Andris Piebalgs, Commissioner for Development, on the Ministerial Declaration of the High Level Political Forum

Read more (STATEMENT/14/221)

Juni 2014

20/06/2014: Joint statement by European Commissioner for Development Andris Piebalgs and Environment Commissioner Janez Potočnik on the joint declaration of ACP-EU countries on the development agenda beyond 2015

Read more (STATEMENT/14/202)

05/06/2014: World Environment Day

Statement by Environment Commissioner Janez Potočnik on the World Environment Day

Read more (STATEMENT/14/184)

Mai 2014

08/05/2014: Statement by Environment Commissioner Janez Potočnik on his participation at the clean-up action in Brussels organised in the context of Let's Clean Up Europe initiative

Read more (STATEMENT/14/152)...

April 2014

16/04/2014: Statement by Environment Commissioner Janez Potočnik after the vote in the European Parliament on Commission’s proposal on plastic bags

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14/04/2014: Commission welcomes the Council's adoption of the Access and Benefit Sharing (ABS) Regulation

Today, the EU adopted legislation that will implement an international agreement on access to genetic resources and the fair and equitable sharing of benefits arising from their utilisation (the so-called Nagoya Protocol) in the Union. Council has also adopted a decision which entitles the EU to ratify the Protocol.

Read more (STATEMENT/14/117)...

März 2014

31/03/2014: Statement after the last meeting of the European Resource Efficiency Platform (EREP)

Europe needs to double its resource productivity by 2030 – at least – in order to boost competitiveness of our industry and maintain a high quality of life for citizens. That was the strong message coming from the last meeting of the European Resource Efficiency Platform (EREP) today (31/3/14). Such a doubling of resource productivity would be equivalent to an increase of well over 30% by 2030, if measured by Raw Material Consumption/GDP.

The Platform, whose members come from the very top levels of industry, services, NGOs, consumer and labour organisations, academia, national governments, the European Parliament, the Commission and the Committee of the Regions, made this call amongst a wider set of strong recommendations on which they expressed a strong consensus. These call for:

 

  • Promotion of new, resource efficient business models;
  • Boosting Extended Producer Responsibility;
  • Enabling consumers to make more sustainable choices;
  • Developing relevant employment and skills;
  • Encouraging financing to enable the transition;
  • And development of further indicators.

I take this opportunity to thank all of the members of the Platform – and their sherpas - for the quality of their input over the last two years. It will continue to provide inspiration and guidance in the preparation of the forthcoming Waste Review and Circular Economy Communication.

Read more...


EREP

12/03/2014: Statement by Environment Commissioner Janez Potočnik regarding his participation at the EU elections

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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.

European Commissioner for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, Maria Damanaki, and Environment Commissioner Janez Potočnik said: "Maritime Spatial Planning can make an important contribution to harnessing multiple uses of space at sea and ensuring their environmental sustainability. We now look forward to the finalisation of the adoption process by the European Parliament and the Council so that we can start working with Member States to better manage our seas and make them safer, more sustainable, and a conductor for growth whilst reducing the pressures on the ecosystem."

Competition for maritime space – for renewable energy equipment, aquaculture and other growth areas – has highlighted the need for more efficient management of such areas, to avoid potential conflict and create a stable environment attractive to investors. At the same time, this proposal will make it easier for Member States to coordinate such activities and better manage environmental pressures from sea-based activities. Maritime Spatial Planning is a cornerstone of the Commission's Blue Growth strategy and of Integrated Maritime Policy. This agreement should boost this sustainable maritime growth, while also contributing to a more efficient implementation of EU environmental legislation in marine and coastal waters. It should also help establish coherent networks of Marine Protected Areas, for which cooperation on planning across borders is essential, and ensure the participation of all stakeholders in planning processes.

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.

The new measures will not only provide environmental benefits, they will improve access to valuable raw materials for European businesses, and help to ensure a level playing field for recyclers, shippers and other economic operators. When formally adopted, the legislation will require Member States to establish risk-based inspection planning to target the most problematic and high-risk waste streams. It will also give national inspectors additional powers to better control and prevent illegal waste shipments. Congratulations go to rapporteur Bart States MEP, to the Greek Presidency and to my own team.

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. If endorsed by the Council and the European Parliament, Europe will be equipped with an effective system for preventing the introduction into the EU of new invasive species and managing the spread of those that have already made their way into the EU and risk causing significant adverse impacts on the environment, economy, and/or human health. This system fully takes into account the concerns of established commercial sectors with strict rules aimed at preventing species escape and spread. By working together within the EU to tackle this problem that is estimated to cost EUR 12 billion annually, we are taking a decisive step in halting the loss of biodiversity in the EU by 2020.
I would like to thank the Greek Presidency and the Parliamentary rapporteur, Mr. Pavel Poc, for their commitment to this issue."

November 2013

07/11/2013: Contribution for the 2. conference "Slovenija 2030 – European dimension of future of Slovenia", organised by the President of Republic of Slovenia Borut Pahor, Ljubljana (in Slovene)

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October 2013

03/10/2013: Statement by Commissioner Potočnik on Rosia Montana mine proposal

For those of you posting or writing about Rosia Montana: I am very much aware of the issue and have been in contact with the Romanian Minister to seek reassurances that EU environmental law will be fully respected.
At present it is a matter for the Romanian authorities. No permit has been issued yet and no environmental impact assessment has been completed. In this case, the responsibility lies with the Romanian government to ensure that the project meets the requirements of all EU environmental laws. The Commission has also requested information from the national authorities via the EU PILOT system. The Commission urges the Romanian authorities to take duly into account all relevant EU legislation, including environmental impact assessment requirements during the authorization procedures.
The Commission is fully prepared to play its role in seeing that EU law is respected. We will continue to follow the case closely.

September 2013

25/09/2013: EU Commissioners Statement

EU Commissioners for Development, Andris Piebalgs, and Environment, Janez Potočnik, welcome the establishment of the High Level Political Forum as well as the Outcome Document agreed at the UN MDG Special Event

Read more (IP/13/818)...

17/09/2013: Statement by Commissioner Potočnik on receiving the United Nations' 2013 Champions of the Earth Award

Read more (MEMO/13/802)...

12/09/2013: Statement by Commissioner Potočnik on the outcome of the vote in the European Parliament on the Access and Benefit Sharing (ABS) Regulation

Read more (MEMO/13/783)...

Juli 2013

22/07/2013: Statement by Environment Commissioner Potočnik on the first reading agreement on the new Directive on Priority Substances in Water

"I welcome this agreement, which will deliver a much-needed update to the Union legislation on chemical pollutants in water. The revised legislation should ensure better protection of the environment and human health, better information for the public about progress on improving water quality, and better reviews of the legislation in the future. While the Commission proposal was substantially weakened during the negotiations, I remain convinced that the final result will make a significant contribution to improving water quality, with a positive impact on health. I now look forward to working with the Member States to ensure the smooth and effective implementation of the Directive."

Read more (MEMO/13/712)...

19/07/2013: Joint Statement on enhanced Environmental Policy Dialogue and Cooperation on Green Growth

Zhou Shengxian Minister of Environment Protection of the People’s Republic of China, and Janez Potočnik European Commissioner for Environment met in Beijing on 19 July 2013 for the EU-China Environmental Policy Dialogue.

Read more (MEMO/13/707)...

Juni 2013

28/06/2013: Statement by Environment Commissioner Potočnik on the CAP Reform

The Common Agricultural Policy is a crucial tool for improving the impact of farming on the environment. There is still a lot to do in this area – many problems remain with water quality and quantity, loss of biodiversity, climate change, soil erosion, etc. This is why, when the Commission made its legal proposals in 2011, I supported the continuation of direct payments to farmers, with the percentage of this money being allocated to environmental public goods justifying these payments.

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28/06/2013: Statement by Environment Commissioner Potočnik on the outcome of the trilogue on the Ship Recycling Regulation

"I welcome the outcome of the trilogue on the new Ship Recycling Regulation, which marks a major step towards more sustainable recycling of ships around the world. The new legislation will make it possible to legally recycle EU ships outside the OECD, but only in facilities that meet minimum environmentally requirements. Ship owners will be able to choose such facilities from an EU list at a reasonable price. I am convinced it will reduce the illegal practices currently blighting the industry, which will become more responsible and environmentally friendly as a result. It will also lead to investment in improving facilities to meet the new demand for better standards"

Read more (MEMO/13/630)...

20/06/2013: Commissioners Janez Potočnik and Connie Hedegaard welcome the trilogue agreement on the new Environment Action Programme to 2020

Read more (MEMO/13/591)...

Mai 2013

06/05/2013: Statement concerning the uncontrolled burning of waste in Campania ("Terra dei fuochi")

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März 2013

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

Read more (MEMO/13/270)...

Februar 2013

25/02/2013: Statement by Commissioner Potočnik on the establishment of a UN Environment Assembly

I welcome the outcome of the 27th UNEP Governing Council / Global Ministerial Forum held in Nairobi from 18th to 22nd February, particularly the establishment of a United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA).

Read more (MEMO/13/136)...

22/02/2013: Joint Statement by Commissioners Potočnik and Barnier on privatisation of water services

In reaction to recent media reports, the European Commission would like to state clearly that it does not have a policy of forcing Member States to privatise water services. The Commission recognizes that water is a public good which is vital to citizens and that the management of water resources is a matter for Member States.

Read more (MEMO-13-131)...

20/02/2013: Erklärung von Kommissar Potocnik zur EU-Zoo-Richtlinie

Ich habe Nachrichten und Sorgen über schlechte Behandlung von Tieren in romanischen Zoos bekommen. Dieser Fall könnte deuten darauf hin, dass es grundsätzliche Probleme bei der Einhaltung der EU-Richtlinie bezüglich Zoos in Rumänien geben könnte. Die Aufgabe der Zoo-Richtlinie ist die Sicherung der Artenvielfalt durch die Annahme von Maßnahmen der Mitgliedstaaten für die Zertifizierung und Überwachung von Zoos. Daher habe ich meine Dienststellen angewiesen, dieses Problem der Anwendung von EU-Recht mit den rumänischen Behörden zu erörtern.

12/02/2013: Statement of Commissioner Potočnik on polar bears

I am receiving thousands of emails regarding the protection of polar bears under CITES.

It is impossible for me to reply to all of them individually. But I can assure all of you that the issue is close to my heart and I take it very seriously.

The European Commission is concerned about the protection of polar bears as much as some of its international partners, if not even more. But it is fair to say that there are divergent views on the best approaches and instruments to use.

We are firmly committed to finding a proper solution at international level; a solution that really helps to protect the polar bear. I am seeing to it that we will be playing a constructive role in the run-up to and at the Bangkok Conference of the Parties.

Januar 2013

29/01/2013: Statement of Commissioner Potočnik on the introduction by the Italian Republic of the parameter Microcystin-LR in Legislative Decree n. 31/2011 on the quality of water intended for human consumption

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14/01/2013: STATEMENT OF COMMISSIONER POTOČNIK ON HUNTING OF THE GREY WOLF IN SLOVAKIA

"I am receiving many complaints, queries and worries about hunting of the grey wolf (Canis lupus) in Slovakia. I take good note of these concerns. The wolf is a protected species under the Habitats Directive. The Slovak wolf populations are listed in Annex V of this Directive, so they can be subject to a management regime which can include their hunting. Nevertheless, Member States have the obligation to ensure that their populations are maintained at a favorable conservation status. The Slovak population represents an essential part of the Western Carpathian wolf population and its management has to be seen in this wider context. The Commission has established a dialogue with the Slovak authorities through an EU-Pilot system to ensure that compliance with EU law is achieved."

08/01/2013: Statement of Commissioner Potočnik concerning the arsenic in drinking water in Italy

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November 2012

21/11/2012: Statement by Commissioner Potočnik following the vote in the European Parliament on shale gas, Brussels

Read more (MEMO/12/885)...

19/11/2012: Statement on the use of hydraulic fracturing ("fracking") in the European Union

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Oktober 2012

20/10/2012: "The 11th Meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity"

Joint statement by Environment Commissioner Janez Potočnik and Sofoclis Aletraris, EU President of the Environment Council, on the outcome of the 11th Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity, Hyderabad

Read more (IP/12/1130)...

20/10/2012: "The 11th Meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity"

Closing Statement by Environment Commissioner Janez Potočnik, Hyderabad

Read more (SPEECH/12/748)...

September 2012

11/09/2012: Statement by Environment Commissioner Janez Potočnik welcoming European Parliament's agreement on sulphur content in marine fuels

Read more (MEMO/12/664)...

07/09/2012: Statement by Environment Commissioner Janez Potočnik on Nordkalk limestone quarry

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August 2012

27/08/2012: Statement by Environment Commissioner Janez Potočnik on World Water Week from 26 to 31 August

Read more (MEMO/12/628)...

Juli 2012

17/07/2012: Questions and Answers on the new Biocides Regulation

The new regulation on the use and placing on the market of biocidal products will repeal and replace the current directive on biocides (98/8/EC). It will enter into force on 17 July 2012. The date of applicability of the Regulation is 1 September 2013.

Read more (MEMO/12/571)...

03/07/2012: Statement by Commissioner Janez Potocnik on Lesvos wind turbines

"The European Commission is receiving many queries and worries about planned wind farms on the island of Lesvos in Greece. The development of wind energy forms part of EU renewable energy commitments. In order to ensure that development of wind farms is carried out in a sustainable and balanced way, they have to be properly assessed against the requirements of Birds and Habitats Directive, and that before the authorisation is given. Measures need to be taken to avoid or minimise their eventual negative effects. The Commission has published guidance on the application of relevant safeguards for Natura 2000 areas under Article 6 of the Habitats Directive 92/43/EEC, emphasizing the need for strategic-level spatial planning. It is the responsibility of national competent authorities to ensure correct implementation of applicable legal provisions in the case of planned wind energy developments. The Commission can intervene if it is provided with convincing evidence of a potential breach of EU legislation."

Juni 2012

23/06/2012: Statement by Commissioner Janez Potocnik on behalf of the EU and its Member States on the adoption of the outcome of the Rio Conference

Read more (MEMO/12/482)...

21/06/2012: Joint statement by the Danish EU Presidency and Environment Commissioner Janez Potočnik welcoming a World Bank Communiqué on Natural Capital Accounting

EU Environment Commissioner Janez Potočnik and the EU Presidency yesterday welcomed a World Bank initiative on natural capital accounting, and the wide support it received at the Rio+20 Conference.

Read more (MEMO/12/473)...

19/06/2012: Joint statement by Janez Potočnik and Ida Auken on the Rio+20 Declaration

The European Union in broad terms welcomes the Rio +20 declaration on the future we want, although a number of ambitions were not fully achieved. The EU has worked hard to secure a positive outcome on several fronts at Rio, including on the green economy, engagement in key areas for future action and on sustainable development goals. Some degree of institutional reform has also been achieved.

Read more (MEMO/12/461)...

05/06/2012: Statement by Environment Commissioner Janez Potočnik on the landfill in Malagrotta (Italy)

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03/06/2012: Statement by Janez Potocnik on lack of progress in Rio+20 negotiations

Read more (MEMO/12/404)...

Mai 2012

31/05/2012: Questions & answers on toxic chemical mixtures

In the European Union, as in other parts of the world, chemicals legislation tends to look at chemical substances one by one. Substances are assessed to see if they can be allowed on the market or if they can be used in products such as pesticides, pharmaceuticals, cosmetics and toys, and under which conditions. This approach is very systematic and has ensured a high level of protection for man and the environment. However, EU legislation does not routinely assess and control unintentional chemical mixtures.

More (MEMO/12/392)...

31/05/2012: Commission acts to ensure that European legislation is fully and properly implemented

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 at ensuring proper application of EU law for the benefit of citizens and businesses. The Commission has taken today 147 decisions, including 27 reasoned opinions and 11 referrals to the European Union's Court of Justice.

More (MEMO/12/387)...

23/05/2012: Commissioner Potočnik welcomes provisional agreement on sulphur emissions from ships

More (MEMO/12/374)...

07/05/2012: Joint statement by the Danish EU Presidency and Commissioner Potočnik welcoming new international agreement to tackle air pollution

Today the EU reached an international agreement to update the Gothenburg Protocol, setting more ambitious targets to reduce trans-boundary air pollution. The revised objectives of the Protocol will see a reduction in EU emissions of around 60% for sulphur, 40% for nitrogen oxides (NOx), 30% for volatile organic compounds (VOCs), 6% for ammonia and 20% for particulate matter compared to 2005 levels. There's also agreement to act on so called 'Black Carbon', a pollutant with short-lived climate forcing characteristics.

Read more (MEMO/12/308)...

April 2012

19/04/2012: Joint statement by the Danish EU Presidency and Commissioner Potočnik following the Informal Environment Council in Horsens

Read more (MEMO/12/266)...

13/04/2012: General statement by Commissioner Potočnik on air quality

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März 2012

30/03/2012: Statement by Environment Commissioner Janez Potočnik following the Environment Policy Committee Ministerial Meeting on 29-30 March

Read more (MEMO/12/239)...

13/03/2012: Statement by Environment Commissioner Janez Potočnik on the Ministerial Declaration of the 6th World Water Forum

Read more (MEMO/12/181)...

09/03/2012: Statement by Commissioner Potočnik following Environment Council Conclusions on Rio +20

Read more (MEMO/12/177)...

09/03/2012: Statement in reply to request about Bird Trapping in MALTA

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Februar 2012

23/02/2012: Statement by Environment Commissioner Janez Potočnik following the 12th UNEP Governing Council

Read more (MEMO/12/131)...

16/02/2012: Joint statement following the meeting between Dutch Minister for Agriculture and Foreign Trade Henk Bleker and Environment Commissioner Janez Potočnik

In a meeting on 16 February, Minister Bleker and Commissioner Potočnik discussed the required restoration of the protected habitat in the Western Scheldt. Commissioner Potočnik underlined that the European Commission has not yet taken a formal decision on the Dutch proposal for an alternative restoration measure.

Read more (MEMO/12/114)...

08/02/2012: Statement by Environment Commissioner Janez Potočnik following the 4th EU-China Environment Policy Dialogue

Following the 4th EU-China Environment Policy Dialogue in Brussels, Environment Commissioner Janez Potočnik concluded: "Our fruitful discussions today show that there is increasing convergence between EU and China when it comes to environmental protection. As we are both looking to move away from global economic slowdown to renewed economic growth, we realise that our growth model should not lead us into another crisis for not respecting the planet's boundaries. It's not only the economy - it's what kind of economy that counts. I am confident that the EU and China will build on this positive agenda at their Summit in Bejing next Tuesday, including on areas such as international climate action.

Commissioner Potočnik shaking hands with Minister for Environmental Protection Zhou Shengxian

Read more (MEMO/12/77)...

Januar 2012

26/01/2012: Statement of Commissioner Potočnik after the meeting with the Italian Minister Corrado Clini

In yesterday's meeting with the Italian environment minister Clini, we also discussed the issue of gas terminals in Trieste bay. He informed me that the Italian government favours a comprehensive and partnership approach to address the energy strategy in the Northern Adriatic, taking into account environmental and other concerns. I welcome the fact that Italy has announced its wish to discuss the issue together with their neighbours, Slovenia and Croatia. Such a decision is fully in line with my recommendation that all three neighbouring countries seek comprehensive solutions to environmental challenges in this region. At the beginning of my mandate, I called upon Slovenia and Italy to try and find a mutually acceptable agreement on this issue. Throughout the discussions, the European Commission has facilitated the process by offering technical support. The cooperation between the countries, which share the privilege and responsibility of sustainable management of the Adriatic, is in our common interest and I hope that talks can commence soon.

20/01/2012: Statement on the new Regulation on biocides

Environment Commissioner Janez Potočnik welcomed the boost to human health and environmental protection brought by the adoption of the new Biocides Regulation in the European Parliament yesterday. Thanks to the combined efforts of the European Parliament, the Council and the Commission, the new Regulation will significantly increase the safety and simplify the authorisation procedure of biocidal products used and placed on the market in the European Union.

Read more (MEMO/12/26)...

19/01/2012: Statement on the new directive on waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE)

Today's decision by the European Parliament is good news for health of our citizens, Europe's competitiveness, and the environment. In these challenging times of economic change and rising prices for raw materials, resource efficiency is where environmental benefits and innovative growth opportunities for European industry come together.

Read more (MEMO/12/20)...

Dezember 2011

19/12/2011: Statement following the Environment Council

Maintaining and restoring agriculture and forest biodiversity is a precondition to attaining our biodiversity objectives. We have already identified specific problems in agriculture, fisheries, forestry and related targets and actions in the Biodiversity Strategy.

Read more (MEMO/11/933)...

Juli 2011

21/07/2011: Competitiveness Council – 21 – 22 July 2011

The Informal Competitiveness Council under the mandate of the Polish EU Presidency will meet in Sopot, Poland on Thursday and Friday, 21 and 22 July 2011. Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Economy, Mr Waldemar Pawlak will chair the Council for the two days. The European Commission will be represented by Vice-President Antonio Tajani, Commissioner for Industry and Entrepreneurship, and Janez Potočnik, Commissioner for Environment.

Read more (MEMO/11/533)...

14/07/2011: Statement on the reform of the Common Fisheries Policy

I welcome the proposals adopted by the Commission today on the reform of the Common Fisheries Policy, presented by my colleague Maria Damanaki. I am pleased that it goes in what I can describe as a 'green' and sustainable direction. This is of course badly needed.

Read more...

05/07/2011: Statement on illegal hunting of birds in Malta

''Thank you for your message and for expressing your concerns about illegal hunting of birds in Malta. Recently I have received many messages about bird hunting in Malta. I take good note of all concerns expressed by many of you and wish to inform you that the Commission is in continuous dialogue with the Maltese authorities to achieve compliance with relevant EU law in this case.''

Juni 2011

28/06/2011: Statement by Commissioner Potočnik on the waste situation in Campania

I am closely following the situation regarding waste in Naples and the waste management situation generally in the Campania region. Looking at media images and reading reports, I am very concerned that so little, if any, progress has been achieved since 2007 when the European Commission was obliged to open an infringement procedure against the Italian Republic.

Read more (MEMO/11/466)...

21/06/2011: Statement by Commissioner Potočnik following the Environment Council

I am largely pleased by the outcome of today's discussions concerning the Commission's Communication on a Biodiversity Strategy. I very much appreciate the efforts made by the Hungarian Presidency to secure support for the Commission's proposals.

Read more (MEMO/11/439)...

08/06/2011: Commissioner Janez Potočnik welcomes European Parliament votes on the Beyond GDP Report and on a new Regulation on Environmental Economic Accounts

"I warmly welcome the results of two votes in Parliament yesterday and today – one on the Report on Beyond GDP, and the other on a new Regulation on Environmental Economic Accounts."

Read more (MEMO/11/384)...

Mai 2011

14/05/2011: Statement by European Environment Commissioner Janez Potocnik on the outcome of talks at the UN Convention on Sustainable Development

"I regret that no final agreement has been reached on a multiannual global plan for sustainable consumption and production in the framework of the UN Convention on Sustainable Development. The intensive negotiations this past week have produced a valuable text for a possible agreement on substance but the conditions were not present on this occasion for a political agreement among all UN members involved."

Read more (MEMO/11/300)...

04/05/2011: Statement by Janez Potočnik on the conclusion of negotiations on a FLEGT Voluntary Partnership Agreement between the EU and Indonesia

I very much welcome the conclusion of negotiations between the EU and Indonesia on the very important topic of illegal logging. This is a landmark step. It is the result of four years of negotiation and extensive stakeholder involvement in Indonesia. I congratulate the negotiators on both sides, in particular the many Indonesians who have contributed to the development of a mechanism to assure the legality of timber and timber products that enjoys broad support amongst all sectors of Indonesian society. It will ensure that Indonesia timber exports to the EU are in compliance with Indonesian legislation, thus providing an assurance to EU consumers that they are not purchasing products made from illegally harvested timber. The provisions on independent monitoring, access to information and on the role of civil society are far-reaching and give me confidence that the agreement will be effectively implemented. I hope that this agreement will serve as an example for agreements with other partners around the world.

Read more (MEMO/11/274)...

April 2011

11/04/2011: "Environmental aspects of the future Common Agricultural Policy"

Opening statement at the Agriculture and Rural Development Committee (European Parliament), Brussels.

Read more (SPEECH/11/262)...

März 2011

28/03/2011: Statement on Greening Europe's transport sector

The Commission is working on redefining Europe's transport policy away from unsustainable patterns, towards an overall more resource efficient approach. It is not only about efficient transport, but also about the efficient use of resources, including energy, land and water in the transport sector. With its White Paper on Transport adopted today, the Commission commits for the first time to greenhouse gas reduction targets in the field of Transport. By 2050, total emissions in the EU transport sector should be 60% less compared with figures in 1990. We are now officially moving towards greening Europe's transport sector.

Well-functioning passenger and freight links are vital for European commerce and citizens. Of course transport is primarily about moving people and goods - in line with two of the four underlying principles of the EU internal market. But transport also causes nuisance to the environment, our health and to our quality of life, through higher levels of pollution, noise and congestion. These impacts need to be minimised, while improving mobility. Air pollution – particularly fine particle pollution – is estimated to account for some 5 million lost years of life each year in 32 countries monitored by the European Environment Agency. Also, a UK study shows that 60% of everyday personal transport consists of one person driving a car alone.

Transport is not the same as mobility, which is a much broader concept. The ideal scenario would be to reach more and better mobility in Europe with less transport, by making the system more resource-efficient. Mobility is like freedom - you are constrained by the mobility of others. Public transport, cleaner means of transport and more human-powered transport for the short intra-urban distances should bring us to respecting mobility of others and developing a more resource-efficient transport. Also, travelling with others is more fun than travelling alone.

With today's White Paper we now have a clear vision for the future of transport in Europe. Now we need to show through action that this vision can be achieved. For me, the main points of focus should be to ensure the prices we pay for transport are right (smart pricing), so that we create the right incentives to citizens and commerce; and to avoid locking-in technologies and infrastructure.

14/03/2011: Statement by Commissioner Janez Potočnik at the Environment Council on Japanese Earthquake and Tsunami

As environment ministers we are usually concerned with the beauty of nature and how to protect it. But on Friday we had a terrible reminder of the destructive power of nature when one of the biggest earthquakes recorded in history hit the North Eastern part of Japan; followed by a large tsunami, causing deaths and severe damage, and impacting many regions in Japan.

Read more (MEMO/11/169)...

03/03/2011: Statement on the occasion of the launch of the Agency for the Cooperation of Energy Regulators in Slovenia

I welcome the opening of the first European agency based in Slovenia, which thus becomes a central point for the creation of the internal energy market in Europe. This will undoubtedly contribute to the visibility of our country on the map of Europe.
Energy supply and its efficient management are among the key challenges for the EU and globally. Answers to the questions on the way of production, distribution and storage of energy have a significant impact on the quality of our lives and of the environment. They are crucial for our future.
I wish the Agency for the Cooperation of Energy Regulators good results and every success in its work.

Januar 2011

18/01/2011: Statement by Environment Commissioner Janez Potočnik following today's debate in College on air quality

Today the Commission had a debate on how best to deal with the issue of air quality in the short and long term. Measures addressing air pollution extend beyond environmental policies. Actions taken in many other policy areas, such as transport, energy, or agriculture, are crucial to their effectiveness.

Read more (MEMO/11/31)...

17/01/2011: Statement by Commissioner Potočnik on the wolf hunt in Sweden

I regret that Sweden has begun the licensed hunting of wolves without giving clear answers to my letter sent on 7 December 2010. We have been in intensive dialogue with the Swedish government, which has been aware of the Commission's concerns about the legality of the hunt for a long time. The actions of the Swedish authorities leave me with little choice other than to propose to the Commission that it begin formal proceedings against Sweden for breach of EU environmental law. I hope that the Swedish government's promised effort to address the unfavourable conservation status of the wolf population in Sweden through translocation of wolves from other parts of Europe will be pursued without delay.

07/01/2011: Statement by Janez Potočnik, European Commissioner for Environment, on the issue of conservation of the wolf in Sweden

In view of the recent extensive media coverage of this issue in Sweden, I wish to clarify the position of the European Commission on the subject of licensed hunting of the wolf in Sweden.

Read more...

November 2010

30/11/2010: Statement on the decision taken by ICCAT regarding the 2011 quota for Atlantic bluefin tuna

The decision of the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT) to set the 2011 quota for Atlantic bluefin tuna at 12,900 tonnes, only 600 tonnes less than the 2010 quota, was not what we hoped for.

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26/11/2010: Statement by Commissioner Janez Potočnik on the ongoing waste crisis in Campania (Italy)

I have received a preliminary report from the delegation that visited Campania this week. The report confirms that the measures needed to execute the ruling issued by the European Court of Justice in March are not yet in place.

Read more (MEMO/10/622)

18/11/2010: Statement on the proposals for CAP reform

Today Commissioner Ciolos presented a Communication on the future of the Common Agriculture Policy (CAP). In his own words, the aim is to make the CAP 'greener, fairer, more efficient and more effective'.

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11/11/2010: Statement on Bluefin Tuna

The Commission this week adopted a proposal for the EU position on bluefin tuna at the upcoming meeting (17-27 November) of the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT). At the meeting, ICCAT Parties will be called to agree on a bluefin tuna recovery plan for the period 2011-2013.

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Oktober 2010

27/10/2010: Statement by Environment Commissioner Janez Potočnik on the ongoing negotiations at the COP10 Conference on Biological Diversity in Nagoya, Japan

Let me start by first stating that nobody should question the EU’s commitment to making these talks a success.  The EU has for a long time been the world’s leading financial donor in the battle against biodiversity loss. Since 2002 we have contributed almost 9 billion euro to this crucial cause. 

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23/10/2010 : Statement by Janez Potočnik, Commissioner for Environment, on the waste situation in Campania, Italy

The European Commission is closely monitoring the waste management situation in Campania. It notes that the current situation is very close to the crisis which exploded in 2007, and which led the European Commission to open an infringement procedure against the Italian Republic.

Read more

27/10/2010: Statement by Environment Commissioner Janez Potočnik on the ongoing negotiations at the COP10 Conference on Biological Diversity in Nagoya, Japan

Let me start by first stating that nobody should question the EU’s commitment to making these talks a success.  The EU has for a long time been the world’s leading financial donor in the battle against biodiversity loss. Since 2002 we have contributed almost 9 billion euro to this crucial cause. 

Read more

23/10/2010 : Statement by Janez Potočnik, Commissioner for Environment, on the waste situation in Campania, Italy

The European Commission is closely monitoring the waste management situation in Campania. It notes that the current situation is very close to the crisis which exploded in 2007, and which led the European Commission to open an infringement procedure against the Italian Republic.

Read more