Find Us

Centre-right EPP group warns Commission to ease off on green policy making

The European Parliament's Committee on Environment, Public Health and Food Safety
The European Parliament's Committee on Environment, Public Health and Food Safety Copyright Alain ROLLAND/ European Union 2024 - Source : EP
Copyright Alain ROLLAND/ European Union 2024 - Source : EP
By Robert Hodgson
Published on Updated
Share this articleComments
Share this articleClose Button

MEPs have decided against splitting the European Parliament's largest committee into separate panels on environment and health, prompting a call from a leading European People's Party lawmaker not to overwhelm it with more environmental legislation.


The EU executive should table less green legislation in the coming political cycle or risk overwhelming MEPs and their staff, the European People’s Party environmental and health policy coordinator has said.

Peter Liese issued his warning the morning after MEPs agreed not to split the European Parliament’s Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety (ENVI) into two separate committees.

“At least 25% of all co-decision files landed in ENVI,” Liese said, referring to standard legislative process, where proposals from the European Commission are amended separately then together by MEPs and government delegates in the EU Council.

“This is challenging, in particular for the staff,” Liese said. “That is why we need fewer proposals from the European Commission.” In a press briefing last week, the German Christian Democrat told reporters he supported breaking up the parliament's largest committee, and expected it to happen.

The EPP has made a war on red tape a political priority after it consolidated its position as the largest group in the parliament in elections a month ago. Fewer new laws would also benefit citizens, “particularly those working in industry and agriculture, are overwhelmed by too many proposals”, Liese said.

The decision not to create separate health and environment committees was welcomed by the consumer rights advocacy group BEUC, which wrote to MEPs last week urging them not to split the committee.

 Its letter warned of the strong links between climate change and pollution, and threats such as antimicrobial resistance and emerging zoonotic diseases: “We would strongly recommend against splitting the ENVI Committee, as this would risk leading to siloed approaches to addressing the…multifaceted challenge.”

BEUC director Agustín Reyna told Euronews that MEPs had made the right decision in keeping ENVI as a single committee, in line with the ‘one health’ approach that recently saw the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) create a joint task force with the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) and the EU’s chemicals, environment, and medicines agencies.

 “When it comes to improving our food systems, it is paramount to have an integrated approach - and the ENVI committee is crucial for that,” Reyna said.

The horse trading between MEPs on Monday night (8 July) also saw the various committees divvied up between the major parliamentarty political groups in proportion to their size, with the chair of the ENVI committee going to the Socialist & Democrats.

Committee chairs are due to be appointed later this month after the parliament reconvenes on 16 July.

Share this articleComments

You might also like