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More than 20 Member States support the Presidency’s GMO compromise proposal

09-03-2012 20:22:00

Minister for the Environment Ida Auken chaired today's meeting in the Environment Council

Photo: The Council of the European Union
Minister for the Environment Ida Auken

The Presidency compromise proposal which would allow Member States the possibility to say no to the cultivation of GMO’s on their own territories had the support from more than 20 EU Member States, but it was not enough to break the blocking minority.

A small numbers of the bigger EU Member States were not able to support the Danish compromise text, which gained support for being creative and being balanced. The proposal contains of the possibility for Member States to decide whether they wish to cultivate GMO’s on their territory.

The arguments against the proposal were that it would conflict with the internal market and WTO rules. The Commission and the Council Legal Service asserted that this was not the case, but it did not make an impression on the bigger countries. A few countries in the blocking minority, however, showed a willingness to try to find a solution for the upcoming Council meeting in June.

“I am amazed that some Member States stand in the way for the majority of the other Member States to decide whether to cultivate GMOs on their territory or not. But today, Europe was not ready to end more than 10 years of disagreement on GMOs. We will now spend the next month to examine whether there is a possibility that Europe could make a decision in June”, says Ida Auken, Presidency of the European Environmental Council and the Danish Minister for Environment.

EU shows global green leadership
Today EU environment ministers decided that the EU at the UN conference on sustainable development in June should aim at adopting a global roadmap for green economy with specific goals, targets and timeframes to guide countries worldwide in their transition to a global, green economy. It was also clear that global sustainable development goals in relation to for instance water will be a prominent theme at the upcoming Rio conference.

"The world needs a new vision, which can collect and bring us forward. With today’s conclusions Europe are front runners in creating a green economy, which will create growth and employment in the north and south – as well as solutions to the environmental challenges of the world. I am satisfied with the clear signal we are sending from today’s meeting" says Ida Auken, Presidency for the EU Environmental Council.

Throughout the 20th century the world’s total material consumption has increased by 3400 percentage and  since 1995 the raw materials has on average risen with 150 percentages.

New support programme for environment and climate
LIFE is the EU environmental and climate financial support programme with a budget of 3,2 mia. euro, which will have a number of new initiatives for 2014-20. Environmental Ministers had their first discussions of which principles which will be applicable for the new programme. The aim is that the quality of the financed projects shall be in focus without jeopardizing the geographical balance.

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