Convention: environment ministers call for greener Constitution

EU Environment ministers insisted on the inclusion in the Constitutional Treaty of sustainable development as one of the central objectives of the Union during their informal Summit on 2-3 May.

Environment ministers of the 15 EU Member States and the 10 new Members met for an informal two-day Council in Greece on 2-3 May. They criticised the draft Constitutional Treaty drawn up by the Convention for failing to integrate any reference to sustainable development as one of the central objectives of the European Union. They also expressed their disappointment over the disappearance of the "integration principle" (Art. 6 of the existing EC Treaty), which obliges the Union to integrate environmental protection requirements into all of its policies.

The ministers proposed a redrafting of Article 3 to include sustainable development goals and the reinsertion of the integration principle into the new Article 8 as discussed by the Convention. Environment Commissioner Margot Wallström also presented a draft Additional Protocol on sustainable development which recalls the EU's objectives on sustainable development.

The environment ministers reiterated in Athens the criticism voiced end of February by eight leading environmental NGOs (the "Green G-8"). The green organisations had warned that leaving out sustainable development and the environment would rob the new Constitution of any citizens support.



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