New EU Commission must rise to climate challenge

10 September 2019

Nominees and portfolios for the next European Commission were put forward today in Brussels by the European Commission President-elect Ursula von der Leyen.

Given the context of the climate crisis, Friends of the Earth Europe is challenging the Commission to deliver urgent and massive transformation, and is questioning some of the priorities of the proposed new structure.

Jagoda Munić, director of Friends of the Earth Europe said:

"Turn-out in the European elections in May was the highest for 25 years - this was evidence that Europeans care, and also a strong call for change. The next EU leadership must deliver urgent and massive transformational change towards a more sustainable and equal Europe - a Commission of continuity is not an option.

"President von der Leyen said that climate protection and sustainable development is a priority. Almost none of the proposed Commissioners have a strong track record on these. We call on the European Parliament to push nominees to prove their climate credentials in their hearings. 

"Increased militarization and closed borders – as suggested by the creation of a new Defence Department - will not make us feel safer. Action on the ecological and climate emergency will.

"It is alarming to hear von der Leyen say she wants to cut red tape - she is referring to laws and standards that protect jobs, health, safety and the environment and benefit all citizens."