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EU Commission off their game

The Commission midterm assessment entitled ‘Off Their Game’, draws on the Olympics as a theme and assesses the progress in nine EU policy fields with impacts on health and the environment. It also reviews the track record of 13 European Commissioners, as well as the European Commission President José Manuel Barroso since 2010. Each policy field was given a mark out of ten based on two main factors: environmental ambition and the extent of environmental issues that the Commission has addressed.

The Green10 come to the conclusion that faced with the breakdown of an economic system operating beyond planetary limits, the Commission has so far lacked the courage to propose legislation for a new, sustainable economy and has continued to favour short-term fixes over long-term solutions for people’s health and the planet.

Of course, the European Commission is not alone in defining Europe’s environmental policy. EU member states and the European Parliament eventually make the final decisions, and it is fair to say that over the past two-and-a-half years the member states have often blocked progress and defended destructive policies.

Some key issues put forth in the assessment include:

  • Most existing production and consumption patterns in Europe are negatively affecting our health and polluting the environment, in many cases irreversibly.
  • Current Commission Policies are not sufficient to halt the steady contamination of our soils, water and food, and ultimately our bodies.
  • Using fewer toxic chemicals goes hand in hand with healthy economic development and future-proof jobs.

Overall, the assessment shows how the Commission needs to take Europe off the track of environmental and economic degradation and put it back on course for a healthier, more prosperous and safer future.

On 3 July the Green 10 held a press conference at the Brussels Press Club, and Genon Jensen, HEAL’s Executive Director, presented her assessment of how the Commission fared on tackling pollution. She highlighted that for the EU chemical’s policy there are no medals in sight, and issued an urgent call to the Commission overall and Health Commissioner John Dalli in particular, to seize opportunities to deliver major health benefits by preventing environment-related chronic disease.

Download the related documents here:

Originally posted on 9 July 2012

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