European Commissioner for the Environment

The Commissioner for the Environment is the member of the European Commission responsible for EU environmental policy. The current Commissioner is Karmenu Vella.

The European Union has made a number of environmental moves, partially in regard to climate change. Most notably it signed the Kyoto Protocol in 1998, set up its Emission Trading Scheme in 2005 and is currently agreeing to unilaterally cut its emissions by 20% by 2020. (See: Energy policy of the European Union)

Other policies include Natura 2000, a widespread and successful network of nature conservation sites, the Registration, Evaluation and Authorisation of Chemicals (REACH) directive requiring safety testing on widely used chemicals, and the Water Framework Directive ensuring water quality reaches higher standards.

Current Commissioner

The current Commissioner is Karmenu Vella of Malta. In his hearing before the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety and the Committee on Fisheries,[1] and in his introductory statement to the European Parliament,[2] Vella listed as his priorities Green Growth, protection of natural capital, and safeguarding the Union's citizens from environment related pressures and risks to health.

Former Commissioners

Stavros Dimas

During his hearing with the European Parliament, Stavros Dimas announced four main priorities for his term in office: climate change, biodiversity, public health and sustainability; Highlighting the importance of the Kyoto Protocol, the Natura 2000 project, the REACH directive, and the need to better enforce existing EU environmental legislation. On Dimas' website he lists the following key policy areas; Air, Biotechnology, Chemicals, Civil Protection and Environmental Accidents, Climate Change, Environmental Technologies, Health, International Issues and Enlargement, Nature and Biodiversity, Noise, Soil, Sustainable Development, Urban Environment, Waste and Water.

At the UN's Buenos Aires talks on climate change in December 2004 he attempted to negotiate mandatory emissions reductions to follow the expiration of Kyoto in 2012. This met with opposition from the USA, whose representatives refused to discuss it.

Dimas oversaw the introduction of the EU's emissions trading scheme that took effect on 1 January 2005, despite emissions reduction plans from Poland, Italy, the Czech Republic and Greece not having been approved on time. He also sought to include companies operating aircraft under the emissions trading regime.

In February 2007 the Commissioner put forward his plans to increase fuel efficiency standards of cars so that emissions are no more than 130g of CO2 per km, down from 162g/km in 2005. This caused anger from the European car industry[3] which was stoked by the Commissioner requesting a Japanese car, a Toyota Prius, instead of a European make due to the Toyota's better environmental standards. [4]

In response to the refusal of countries to ratify the Kyoto Protocol, such as the United States and Australia (the latter of which exchanged viewpoints with the EU on the matter[4]), the EU has been looking to tax products imported from those countries not taking low-carbon policies on board (Border Tax Adjustments).[5] (Australia has since ratified the Kyoto Protocol, at the Bali COP in December 2007).

Carlo Ripa di Meana

Carlo Ripa di Meana was appointed Environment Commissioner in 1990 which coincided with increased public interest and awareness in environmental issues. Ripa di Meana's appointment took place at the same time as that of a new Directorate-General, Brinkhorst. They both tried to change the image of DG XI (now DG Environment) in charge of environmental issues and make it a more mainstream actor.[6] According to Schön-Quinlivan [7] the then President of the Commission, Jacques Delors, did not appreciate Ripa di Meana’s political style and their relationship became strained. Ripa di Meana was eventually replaced by Karel Van Miert for a period of six months until a full-time replacement could be found. Yet Van Miert supported what had been done before him and described environmental policy as ‘one of our most successful policies, and one of the best understood’.[8]

List of Commissioners

Name Country Period Commission
1 Carlo Ripa di Meana  Italy 1990–1992 Delors Commission
2 Karel Van Miert  Belgium 1992–1993 Delors Commission
3 Ioannis Paleokrassas  Greece 1993–1995 Delors Commission
4 Ritt Bjerregaard  Denmark 1995–1999 Santer Commission
5 Margot Wallström  Sweden 1999–2004 Prodi Commission
6 Stavros Dimas  Greece 2004–2010 Barroso Commission I
7 Janez Potočnik  Slovenia 2010–2014 Barroso Commission II
8 Karmenu Vella  Malta 2014– Juncker Commission

See also

External links


  1. ^ "Hearing: Karmenu Vella". European Parliament. Retrieved 12 December 2014.
  2. ^ "Introductory Statement Of Commissioner Designate" (PDF). European Parliament. 29 September 2014. Retrieved 12 December 2014.
  3. ^ [1]
  4. ^ [2]
  5. ^ [3]
  6. ^ Schön-Quinlivan (2012)The European Commission, In: Jordan, A.J. and Adelle, C. (eds) Environmental Policy in the European Union: Contexts, Actors and Policy Dynamics (3e). Earthscan: London and Sterling, VA.
  7. ^ Schön-Quinlivan (2012)The European Commission, In: Jordan, A.J. and Adelle, C. (eds) Environmental Policy in the European Union: Contexts, Actors and Policy Dynamics (3e). Earthscan: London and Sterling, VA.
  8. ^ Cini, M. (2003) ‘Actors and Institutions in Environmental Governance’, in A. Weale et al. Environmental Governance in Europe, OUP, Oxford. p88.
Carlo Ripa di Meana

Carlo Ripa di Meana (15 August 1929 – 2 March 2018) was an Italian politician. He was a Member of the European Parliament, a European Commissioner with portfolio for the environment and was environment minister of Italy. He was the leader of the Italian Greens and president of the organization Italia Nostra.


Within the European Union, a directorate-general is a branch of an administration dedicated to a specific field of expertise.

The European Commission: Commission Directorates-General are each headed by a director-general, who reports to the European Commissioner in charge of (i.e. politically responsible for) the corresponding policy area;

The European Patent Office: EPO Directorates-General;

The Secretariat of the European Parliament: Parliament Directorates-General.

The General Secretariat of the Council of the European Union: Council Directorates-general.

Directorate-General for the Environment

The Directorate-General for Environment (DG Environment) is a Directorate-General of the European Commission, responsible for the European Union policy area of the environment.

In February 2010, departments relating to climate change were split off from the environment, industry and external relations DGs to form the DG Climate Action.

Enrico Giovannini

Enrico Giovannini (born 6 June 1957) is an Italian economist and statistician, member of the Club of Rome. Since 2002, he has been a full professor of economic statistics at the University of Rome Tor Vergata. He is Senior Fellow of the LUISS "School of European Political Economy", member of the “Commission Economique de la Nation” of the French Government, and co-chair of the "Independent Expert Advisory Group on the Data Revolution for Sustainable Development" established by the Secretary-General of the United Nations. He is also chair and member of several boards of Italian and international organisations. From April 2013 to February 2014 he was Minister of labour and social policies in the Italian government. From August 2009 to April 2013 he was President of the Italian Statistical Institute (Istat). From January 2001 to July 2009, he was Director of Statistics and Chief Statistician of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).

Environment of the European Union

Environment of the European Union:

Bonn Agreement

European Climate Change Programme

Coordination of Information on the Environment

Directorate-General for the Environment (European Commission)

European Environment Agency

European Commissioner for the Environment

Protected areas of the European Union

Environment of the Netherlands

Environment of the Netherlands


Dutch pollutant standards

Geology of the Netherlands

Litter in the Netherlands

Ministry of Housing, Spatial Planning and the Environment


European Civil Service

The European Civil Service is a generic term applied to all staff serving the institutions and agencies of the European Union (EU). Although recruitment is sometimes done jointly, each institution is responsible for its own internal structures and hierarchies.

European Green Party

The European Green Party (EGP), sometimes referred to as European Greens, is the European political party that operates as a federation of political parties across Europe supporting green politics. The EGP cooperates with the European Free Alliance (EFA) to form the Greens–European Free Alliance (Greens/EFA) parliamentary group in the European parliament.

European Parliament Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety

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European Week for Waste Reduction

The European Week for Waste Reduction (EWWR) was launched as a 3-year project supported by the LIFE+ Programme of the European Commission until July 2012. It continues taking place in the following years. The 2012 edition of the EWWR took place from the 17 to 25 November 2012 under the patronage of Mr Janez Potočnik, European Commissioner for the Environment.

It aims to organize multiple actions during a single week, across Europe, that will raise awareness about waste reduction. Each year, the most outstanding actions are rewarded during an awards ceremony in Brussels at the heart of the European institutions. Since the beginning of the project, more than 20.000 awareness raising actions on waste prevention have been implemented in the framework of the EWWR.

The 2017 date is from November 18-27.The five partners of this project are:

ADEME (the French Environment and Energy Management Agency – project coordinator)

ACR+ (the Association of Cities and Regions for Recycling and sustainable Resource management – project technical secretariat)

ARC (the Catalan Waste Agency)

IBGE (Brussels Environment, public administration for the environment and energy) and

LIPOR (the Intermunicipal Waste Management Service of Greater Porto).

Janez Potočnik

Janez Potočnik (pronounced [ˈjaːnɛs pɔˈtɔtʃnik]; born 22 March 1958) is a Slovenian politician, he served as European Commissioner for Environment until 1 November 2014. He was formerly Slovenia's Minister for European Affairs.

In November 2014, he became co-chair of the International Resource Panel (IRP)IRP, a forum of scientists and experts working on natural resources management.

Karmenu Vella

Karmenu Vella is a Maltese politician and current member of the European Commission, where he is in charge of Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries. He was one of the longest serving Maltese Parliamentarian with the Malta Labour Party.

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Margot Wallström

Margot Elisabeth Wallström (Swedish pronunciation: [ˈmarːɡɔt ²valːstrœm]; born 28 September 1954) is a Swedish politician, member of the Swedish Social Democratic Party. She has served as Deputy Prime Minister of Sweden, Minister for Foreign Affairs and Minister for Nordic Cooperation since October 2014. She previously served as the first United Nations Special Representative on Sexual Violence in Conflict from 2010 to 2012, as Vice-President of the European Commission and European Commissioner for Institutional Relations and Communication Strategy from 2004 to 2010, European Commissioner for the Environment from 1999 to 2004, Minister for Consumer Affairs from 1988 to 1991 and Member of the Riksdag (MP) for Värmland from 1982 to 1999.

Maria Damanaki

Maria Damanaki (Greek: Μαρία Δαμανάκη) is a Greek politician, including former president of the Synaspismos party of the left and former state member of the Hellenic Parliament within the Panhellenic Socialist Movement (PASOK). She currently serves as the Global Managing Director for Oceans at The Nature Conservancy. In this capacity leads a global team focused on how the world manages its oceans, including sustainable fisheries management, large-scale protection and restoration of coral reefs and other ecosystems, coastal resilience, and mapping and quantification of the full value of the world’s oceans to people.

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Red List Building Materials contain chemicals that have been designated as harmful to living creatures, including humans, or the environment. There are many "Red Lists" that have been developed specifically for building materials. These lists have primarily been developed by green building rating system developers and architecture firms. They are typically developed from chemical hazard lists published by government agencies, such as the United States Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA), European Union Commission on Environment (European Commissioner for the Environment), and the California Department of Toxic Substances Control.

Ritt Bjerregaard

Ritt Bjerregaard (full name Jytte Ritt Bjerregaard, born 19 May 1941) is a former Danish politician. She is a member of the Danish Social Democrats, and was Lord Mayor of Copenhagen from 1 January 2006 to 2010.

Bjerregaard was Education Minister from 27 September to 19 December and again from 13 February 1975 to 22 December 1978. 1973 and from 1975 to 1978 in the Cabinets of Anker Jørgensen I, II and III, and Social Minister from 1979 to 1981 in Anker Jørgensen's fourth cabinet. She was European Commissioner for the Environment from 1994 to 1999 and Minister for Food, Agriculture and Fisheries in the Cabinet of Poul Nyrup Rasmussen IV from 2000 to 2001.

Stavros Dimas

Stavros Dimas (Greek: Σταύρος Δήμας, Greek pronunciation: [ˈstavros ˈðimas]; born 30 April 1941) is a Greek politician who was European Commissioner for the Environment from 2004 to 2009. From November 2011 to May 2012, he served in the government of Greece as Minister for Foreign Affairs. The New Democracy–PASOK coalition government nominated him for the post of President of Greece in December 2014, but he failed to achieve the necessary votes, forcing the dissolution of parliament.

United Kingdom environmental law

United Kingdom environmental law concerns the protection of the environment in the United Kingdom. Environmental law is increasingly a European and an international issue, due to the cross border issues of air and water pollution, and man made climate change.

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