Archives de Tag: EU

EU public consultation on ‘Raw materials’…last days

In 2008 the Commission launched the EU Raw Materials Initiative . The Commission is currently preparing a new Communication which will not only report on progress made with the implementation of this initiative, but also indicate the way forward.

You can take part in the public consultation launched in the framework of this work: it is open until 19 September 2010, more information here.

Blueprint for a resource efficient Europe

The new European Commissioner for environment, Mr. Potocnik, recently provided additional details on his plans and those of the European Commission regarding ‘resource efficiency’.

Good news is that if all that will become true in the short term there will be eventually concret step forwards after resource efficiency being set as one of the ‘flagship initiative’ in the ‘Europe 2020’ strategy (strategy which sets the broad objectives of the EU over the next 10 years). The battle now is to get those upcoming developments (blue print, plans etc…) right so as to effectively enable pratical implementation of strong measures on resource efficiency throughout Europe…The next months will provide the answer…

EU 2020

The European Commission has recently launched its consultation paper on the new overarching strategy for the EU over the next decade. The public consultation on this crucial paper is open until 15 January.

This strategy is the continuation of the so-called ‘Lisbon Strategy’ which was the EU’s strategy for the 2000-2010 period and which has rather been a failure. The new proposal shows some positive progress as regards use of natural resources since the thematic of « resource use » is clearly mentionned, eventually… « In developing a new vision and direction for EU policy, we need to recognise that conserving energy, natural resources and raw materials, using them more efficiently and increasing productivity will be the key drivers of the future competitiveness of our industry and our economies. » « Resource competition »  is also mentionned.

Unfortunately on the solution side the proposal remains rather vague or in the form of a nice wish list without concret ways forward on how to implement those broad ideas: «  This means using the material inputs in the economy more efficiently, becoming more productive by reducing pressure on resources. This means shifting our economy, through targeted regulation (e.g. promoting energy-efficient products and systems), through emission trading, tax reform, through grants, subsidies and loans, through public investment and procurement policies, and through targeting our research and innovation budgets to this end. »

In addition it can be expected that the consultation process may result in watering down some of the positive moves on ‘resources’ and the discussions in the Council, so at Member State level, could also be difficult on this point. The final document and strategy for the EU until 2020 should be adopted in the course of the Spring.

The broader question is how this EU 2020 strategy will be positioned versus the EU Sustainable Development Strategy that is also an overarching European strategy…It’s high time that the EU finally sets only one overarching strategy as its clear objective with all others, sectoral strategies, being pillars of the single overarching EU strategy. Unfortunately this time again there will be a mix of several broad strategies without any clarity…