Most political parties and commentators have pointed to Dimas’s
lack of experience on environmental issues. Pro-business circles
were the only ones to welcome his performance at a hearing in
Stavros Dimas repeated the case he had previously made in his
written answers to MEPs’ questions, that environment and
competitiveness can go hand in hand, ‘bossing’ technological
development along the way (see EURACTIV, 28 September 2004).
On specific issues, Dimas pledged for continued support for
the EU’s climate policy and vowed to keep unchanged “the
susbstance” of the controversial REACH proposal on chemicals
evaluation and registration. He repeated that implementation of
existing environmental legislation would be his first priority.
However, he probably lost support among the Green ranks of the
Environment Committee when he hinted that some EU countries could
not be ready in time for the EU’s trading system for CO2 emmissions
on 1 January 2005. Dimas was reported by the International Herald
Tribune as saying the EU emissions trading system (EUMTS) “was
designed in such a way that it will be able to produce the results
we want with fewer countries, those that are ready.” “From the
beginning, it was thought that perhaps it would start with fewer
countries,” he was also quoted as saying.