30/09/2014
Share 

BirdLife calls for rejection of new EU Environment Commissioner

8c2fcfbd-4148-41ec-8afc-52a32267b146
The appointment of Commissioner Karmenu Vella has raised the hackles of the majority of conservationists with an interest in wider European issues. Photo: Correctprofile (commons.wikimedia.org).
The appointment of Commissioner Karmenu Vella has raised the hackles of the majority of conservationists with an interest in wider European issues. Photo: Correctprofile (commons.wikimedia.org).
After appearing in front of a special hearing, the new Maltese EU Environment designate Commissioner Vella failed the audition, says BirdLife Europe.

Yesterday Maltese designate Commissioner for the Environment and fisheries Karmenu Vella appeared in front of the Environment and Fisheries committees in the European Parliament at a hearing to confirm his appointment. Conservationists have already balked at the imposition of a represntative of such a controversial country, when it comes to shooting and other environmental issues.

According to Ariel Brunner, Head of EU Policy at Birdlife Europe: “Vella was vague, evasive and often inaccurate. Claiming that there is no need for a Vice President on sustainability because the issue is 'self evident' is naive and ultimately unsustainable. Blue Fin Tuna quotas are not politically determined? Gold cannot be extracted without cyanide? Malta has less infringements on Nature directives than Germany (how about adjusting by country size)?

"The Birds Directive must be reviewed because it’s being interpreted in the [European] courts just like any other law? I don’t think we can feel reassured in any way by his performance.”

Pieter Depous, EU Policy director at the European Environmental Bureau, stated: “Either Vella was not allowed to make any commitments during his hearing or he did not have sufficient knowledge to do so. Either way, the conclusions for the Environment Committee should be crystal clear. They cannot let him pass if they want the European Parliament to be taken seriously in the next five years.”

Angelo Caserta, Director of Birdlife Europe, concluded: “No one expects a new commissioner to be on top of all the dossiers, but they should at least to show ambition and determination to tackle environmental issues. Vella clearly failed on this front.

"If you add to that the fact that Juncker has essentially ignored both the appeals of the environmental community and that of the members of parliament, starting from his President Schulz, to assign sustainability to one of his Vice-Presidents it is clear to me that this Commissioner must be rejected, to force Juncker to reconsider his approach. Juncker and must get this message loud and clear: we cannot support this Commission.”
Content continues after advertisements