The mandate for the European Commission’s (EC) new Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries (EMFA) commissioner has been criticised for being “entirely centred on deregulation”.
EC president Jean-Claude Juncker unveiled the new-look European Commission on 10 September, with ex-Maltese MP Karmena Vella filling the role of EMFA commissioner.
Vella is to replace outgoing environment commissioner Janez Potočnik, and and will take on an expanded role.
But in an open letter written to Juncker, eco-campaigning coalition Green 10 highlighted a series of concerns about the changes.
Campaigners said the EMFA commissioner’s mandate was to review all major initiatives in progress while not suggesting any new ones.
Green 10 also said of the EMFA commission, which is in charge of waste and recycling initiatives: “The move from a commissioner with dedicated responsibilities for environment to having this policy area shared with other demanding dossiers represents a clear relegation of environmental issues in the order of political priorities.”
The letter further criticised the fact that the vice-president positions do not involve sustainable development and the green economy at all, while merging climate and energy portfolios and putting them under a vice-president for energy union suggests climate action “is considered subordinate to energy market considerations”.
Green 10 members include Greenpeace and Friend of the Earth.