EEB reaction to EU State of the Union address: Environment totally absent from Juncker bingo

EEB Reactions

Brussels, 9 September 2015

Jeremy Wates, EEB Secretary General, said: 

“European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker boasted at the beginning of his address about the number of times he uses the words ‘social’, ‘economic’, ‘monetary’ and ‘budgetary’. However, aside from a brief reference to climate change, worryingly his State of the Union speech was almost completely silent on the third dimension of sustainable development, the environment. President Juncker called for an ambitious climate agreement at the COP in Paris and drew links between climate change and the refugee crisis, but the impacts of wider environmental degradation were noticeably absent. Two weeks before the world, including the EU, adopts global sustainable development goals, the Commission needs to wake up and put the environment and sustainability at the heart of its work programme. Only by broadening its climate and energy commitments to a comprehensive agenda covering resource efficiency, biodiversity and ecosystems and environmental health can it genuinely claim to be a social Europe that is fit for purpose.”

NB  The above reaction was put out immediately after the State of the Union address and based upon the speech as delivered. The written version of the speech that was subsequently put online differed substantially from the delivered address, with a number of more positive elements. For a further EEB perspective on this matter, see our op-ed in EUobserver.

For further information: 

Philippa Nuttall Jones, EEB Senior Communications Officer,, 0032 (4) 71 57 81 01