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New European Commission: focus on jobs and growth

  • 2014. szeptember 01. 02:00
  • Csilla
The new structure of the European Commission has been revealed with huge effects to the environment sector. EEB has expressed their concern about the changes.

President-elect Jean-Claude Juncker revealed the new shape of the next European Commission that will be streamlined to focus on tackling the big political challenges Europe is facing e.g. unemployment, energy security, investments. " Today I am presenting the team that will put Europe back on the path to jobs and growth. In the new European Commission, form follows function. We have to be open to change. We have to show that the Commission can change." said Juncker about the new structure. One of the changes was the reshaping of certain portfolios. Significantly, the Environment and Maritime Affairs and Fisheries portfolios have been combined to reflect the twin logic of "Blue" and "Green" Growth where environmental protection and competitiveness goes hand-in-hand. The same logic has been applied in deciding to establish one Commissioner in charge of both Climate Action and Energy policy. Both new portfolios will contribute to the Project Team 'Energy Union'.

The European Environmental Bureau (EEB) has reacted with deep concern to the changed structure. Apart from combining the portfolios, crucial responsabilities that currently rest with the Environment department will be shifted to other parts of the Commission. "Instead of putting sustainability central to his new team, Juncker has decided to relegate it to the margins by scrapping the dedicated posts of climate and an environment commissioner and appointing a deregulation first Vice-President to put a competitiveness filter on all initiatives" EEB Secretary General Jeremy Wates commented on the announcement."Under the banner of reform, a deeply regressive deregulatory agenda has been put forward here that reads like a wish-list of private sector interest groups hostile to the environment."