For immediate release
The European Commission’s withdrawal of two crucial pieces of environmental policy at the moment that citizens across Europe are voting in the European elections sends a bad signal as to what Europe’s priorities are.
The formal withdrawal of the 2003 proposal for a Directive on Access to Justice underlines the urgent need for the Commission to speed up its work on a new legislative proposal in this area.
The Access to Justice Directive would have meant members of the public in Ireland with environmental concerns could take court actions without the huge penalty of legal fees.
Michael Ewing Coordinator of the Environmental Pillar said: “A new legislative proposal in this area is urgently needed, not only to create a more democratic Europe, but also to improve the implementation of environmental law. It would create a more level playing field for business and would also ensure that the EU is fully in compliance with its obligations under international law, namely the Aarhus Convention.”
The withdrawal of the Soil Directive after almost ten years of being blocked by a handful of Member States reveals a disturbing lack of vision and understanding of the importance of European soils, which lack of visionposes a direct threat to our food security and limits our ability to tackle climate change and prevent the loss of biodiversity.
The Commission should swiftly come forward with new proposals in these areas and show that Europe is serious about guaranteeing citizens’ rights and protecting crucial natural resources.