President Jose Manual Barroso, European Commission chief, has reached the half way stage of his second term of office.
Along with Europe’s debt crisis, protecting the environment has been a key part of Barroso’s presidency.
Speaking at the Rio+20 in Brazil recently Barroso said: “Green economy will enhance durability to manage natural resources sustainably and with lower environmental impacts.”
But Greenpeace and a host of other big environmental pressure groups have heavily criticised Brussels over its current approach to the environment in a new report called Green 10.
Jorgo Riss, Director, Greenpeace’s European Unit said: “The European Commission is, at the moment, completely failing to protect the environment in Europe. We need clean air, we need healthy soils and we need to protect our natural resources,” Director of Greenpeace’s European Unit, Jorgo Riss said.
While the Commission admits it could do better, the EU Commissioner for the Environment Janez Potocnik told euronews things are improving.
“In the implementation, we have a huge, huge work to do, to be honest, because we have a lot of infringements.
“One issue which is many times mentioned, are chemicals. We have the most advanced legislation in the world which we are now implementing. Of course, we have additional questions on the table, which we will have to seriously deal with,” Potocnik added.
Not good enough claim Greenpeace, which claims during the first two years of President Barroso’s second mandate, his team of Commissioners have lacked the endurance and commitment when it comes to turning plans into action.
“Commission’s President Barroso and his team have all the powers they need to do this. What they lack is political courage to do it and what they lack is the sufficient long term vision,” Riss said.
Green 10 is an alliance of Europe’s biggest eco-groups, including Greenpeace, Friends of the Earth and the WWF.