Presidencies of the EU
From June to December 2013 the European Union Presidency is in the hands of the Lithuanian Government
Lithuania takes over the Presidency of the EU amidst critical debates for the future of Europe's environment and climate policy. BirdLife Europe and LOB (BirdLife in Lithuania) produced a policy briefing, explaining their key recommendations for a successful Presidency.
- Improve the EU Bioenergy policy - The Lithuanian Presidency has the opportunity to take the lead in ensuring that the real impacts of biofuels and biomass on the climate are accounted for. The debate over Indirect Land Use Change (ILUC) needs to be brought to a conclusion, and must reflect state-of-the-art science on the carbon emissions and increased food prices as a result of biofuel production. In the face of division and delay, a strong science-based leadership is needed in the European Council. The same is true for biomass sustainability; the EU is incentivising damaging forestry practices across the world and immediate progress must be made in addressing the flaws in current policy.
- Ensure a strong legislation to tackle damage caused by Invasive Alien Species (IAS) - The European Commission’s proposal on Invasive Alien Species is expected by the beginning of the Lithuanian Presidency. This initiative should be grasped in order to turn the tide on the invasive alien species, which are devastating Europe’s natural environment and costing Member States at least 12 billion euros a year. The problem can be fixed through prevention, control and co-ordination, but strong leadership will be needed to drive progress through the European Council.
- Ensure robust environmental measures in both the Environmental Impact Assessment Directive and the Maritime Spatial Planning Directive - Both directives are crucial for ensuring that much needed infrastructure and energy investments are rolled out sustainably and with a long-term perspective.
- Guarantee a coherent reform of the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund - The European Maritime and Fisheries Fund is one of the last spending tools of the 2014-2020 EU budget that still needs to be agreed upon. It is crucial that it is reformed to bring it in line with objectives of the freshly reformed Common Fisheries Policy, to put an end to perverse subsidies and to ensure proper investment in the restoration of the marine environment and fish stocks.
- Provide a leadership on negotiations on a climate framework beyond 2020 - This piece of flagship legislation must bring in binding targets as soon as possible to guide investment in the future of secure and affordable energy. Only strong political leadership with an eye for the long-term perspective can deliver the low-cost, low-carbon energy supply Europe needs.
Stichting BirdLife Europe gratefully acknowledges financial support from the European Commission. All content and opinions expressed on these pages are solely those of Stichting BirdLife Europe.