Issue 36

August/September 2014

Following its proposal of a 40% greenhouse gas reductions and a 27%+ renewable energy target for its 2030 Framework on Climate and Energy in January, the European Commission last month published its Energy Efficiency Communication, a strategy that introduces a new 30% energy efficiency target for 2030.

European Union leaders from the 28 member states who were due to convene on Brussels this weekend to complete “the full puzzle” of the EU top jobs for the next five years, will now apparently only confirm successor to Council President Herman Van Rompuy, and EU foreign affairs chief Catherine Ashton. Leaders will need to decide who will succeed Van Rompuy and Ashton before the new President elect of the European Commission, Jean Claude Juncker, can complete his team of commissioners for the next five years in early September.

You have the chance to discover 108 Brussels-based seminars organised as part of the 12th edition of the European Week of Regions and Cities! This year’s OPEN DAYS take place in the same week as ENEP’s Autumn General Assembly 2014.

Organised between 6-9 October 2014, the OPEN DAYS Brussels-based events will consist of an opening session (6 October), followed by some 100 working sessions (workshops or debates, 7-9 October).

Over 20 NGOs have intensified their efforts to persuade the President elect of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker not to appoint a single chief scientific adviser (CSA) when he takes office on 1st November this year. The NGOs claim that the EU needs more diverse expertise than a single person can provide.

European Commissioner for Regional Policy, Johannes Hahn has launched a public consultation on "The urban dimension of EU policies – key features of an EU Urban Agenda". Europe continues to be faced with challenges related to the economy, the climate, the environment, and society at large. Most of these challenges have a strong urban dimension. A growing number of voices argue that cities need to be adequately involved in the conception and implementation of EU policies, and that EU policies need to be better adapted to the urban realities where they will be implemented.

After three years of cross-border cooperation in the control of invasive non-native species in Europe, the RINSE Project is coming to a close this September. To celebrate its legacy and results, RINSE is hosting a free closing conference at OPEN, Bank Plain, Norwich. Registration for the event is now open. Please see for further details.

The European Commission has launched an online consultation on issues related to the ratification and implementation by the EU of the Minamata Convention on mercury. The Convention was signed in October 2013. At that time, it was the first international environmental agreement concluded in a decade. It is a global treaty that aims to protect human health and the environment from the adverse effects of mercury, and aims to phase out many of its current uses.

21st – 22nd October 2014 in Frankfurt

In cooperation with ENEP

EU environment commissioner Janez Potočnik confirmed in a statement last week that he will stand down at the end of his term in October.  Slovenia’s outgoing government, that lost a snap general election in July, did not name Mr Potočnik among its three nominees for the country’s new Commissioner under the next European Commission to be headed by Jean-Claude Juncker.  Mr Potočnik is widely regarded as a committed advocate of environmental protection.

The European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) is seeking views on three applications for authorised chemicals under the REACH regulation. The two latest applications relate to the use of trichloroethylene in fabric dyeing and the other to diarsenic trioxide’s use in ammonia production. Applications to continue using diarsenic trioxide had to be submitted by November 2013.