Spotlight on Brussels

The highlight of today was the opening of the EU Green Week conference in Brussels. It began with a session presenting the perspective of different actors on the opportunities and challenges related to the implementation of environmental legislation.

The highlight of today was the opening of the EU Green Week conference in Brussels. It began with a session presenting the perspective of different actors on the opportunities and challenges related to the implementation of environmental legislation.

The highlight of today was the opening of the EU Green Week conference in Brussels. It began with a session presenting the perspective of different actors on the opportunities and challenges related to the implementation of environmental legislation.

Quote of the day

Quote of the day

Full implementation of EU environmental legislation could save our economy around €55 billion every year. That's the enormous cost of failing to play by the rules. The bill we are paying for our wasteful ways.

Karmenu Vella, European Commissioner for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries

At the opening session Martine Aubry, Mayor of Lille, shared the success story of her city, the finalist of 2021 European Green Capital Award competition, while Nicolas Humez (Regulatory Affairs Director, SARP Industries and Chairman, Hazardous Waste Europe) highlighted the importance of legal certainty for businesses. Ester Asin (Director, WWF European Policy Office) used the example of gaps in the implementation of Natura2000 network to present challenges faced by civil society, and Professor Dimitris Dermatas (Chair, IMPEL - European Union Network for the Implementation and Enforcement of Environmental Law) explained what the practitioners of law enforcement are doing to ensure that Europeans can live in a safe and healthy environment.

Other sessions looked at the environmental impact of sporting events, how the EU network of protected areas Natura2000 supports conservation and why implementing environmental law is important for human health.

In the evening, participants sipped water-based cocktails while learning how good environmental legislation makes for good tap water, at an invitation of EurEau, the European Federation of National Associations of Water and Wastewater Services.

10.15-12.50 – European Week for Waste Reduction awards ceremony

Organised by the European Committee of the Regions, the ceremony rewarded outstanding waste prevention actions carried out during the European Week for Waste Reduction in November 2018.

The awards rewarded outstanding waste prevention actions carried out during the European Week for Waste Reduction in November 2018. The winners were chosen from more than 14 000 actions by a jury of environmental professionals. First winner of the day in the #EuropeanSpecialPrize category was the Spanish primary and secondary school Col·legi Sant Josep and its partner schools. The other winners of the six categories that were awarded can be consulted here.

9.00-13.00 – Debating pollution in the ocean around Madeira

The fourth conference on Madeira’s MaRaM strategy, which aims to eliminate marine pollution around the archipelago, took place today, organised by the Madeiran regional directorate for territorial and environmental management. Participants debated the issue of litter, and particularly plastic, in the oceans and the impact of discharge into the sea of effluent resulting from treatment of urban wastewater.

A key aim of the event was to discourage people from throwing rubbish into rivers or streams by making them aware that such rubbish will eventually reach the sea.

15-19 May – Underwater heritage conservation in the Aegadian Islands

Held on a boat in the marine protected area off Italy’s Aegadian Islands, ‘Know what's below’ links implementation of environmental legislation with underwater heritage conservation. It began today with participants boarding the boat and meeting for a welcoming event and continues tomorrow with theoretical workshops which give an overview of underwater archaeological research and related methodological and technical aspects, making reference to relevant national and international legislation.


The final 3 days of the event are spent on practical underwater training, involving investigation of maritime archaeological sites. The training covers documentation of the sites, organisation of equipment, safety, study of anomalies on the seabed and analysis of findings, and concludes with a written exam.

13-17 May – From green spaces to green infrastructure in Romania

Focusing on legislation as a determinant for the quality of the environment in which we live, the Romanian Landscape Architects Association’s (AsoP) annual general assembly is taking place this week under the title ‘Romanian Cities: from green spaces to green infrastructures’. Proceedings today included a conference in the morning and a round table in the afternoon on European and national legislation featuring representatives of local and central administration, European election candidates and environmental professionals.

Another element of the programme for the week is the second part of a student workshop on urban arboriculture entitled ‘Living campus Bucharest’. The workshop – the first phase of which took place in October 2018 – is the result of a partnership between Bucharest University of Agronomic Sciences and Veterinary Medicine and Katholieke Universiteit Leuven in Belgium.

Further events include a conference on approaches to development of green infrastructure, an exhibition run by the International Federation of Landscape Architects, a Sino-Romanian horticultural workshop, a landscape architecture workshop for high school students and a visit to the China-Romania Science and Technology Park.

Throwback: 14 May – Innovative waste management in a circular economy

The EU’s circular economy package and European strategy for plastics lay down a number of challenges for the waste management sector. A workshop organised yesterday evening in Brussels by French recycling company, Citeo and the Association of Cities and Regions for sustainable Resource management brought together circular economy actors from across Europe to discuss ways of overcoming these challenges.

It was composed of two round tables: in the first, entrepreneurs, environmental organisations and policymakers discussed how innovative packaging solutions can help meet EU targets for waste collection, recyclability and re-use of secondary raw materials; in the second, municipalities and entrepreneurs shared innovative urban waste collection practices with a view to identifying how municipalities can serve as a laboratory for the implementation of environmental legislation through collective development of innovative systems.
 
The event concluded with the launch of the 2019 edition of Circular Challenge – a competition created by Citeo to identify and accelerate innovation within the circular economy.

Coming up tomorrow

Coming up tomorrow

The EU Green Week conference continues throughout the day, with a whole host of issues to be discussed. Other highlights include a hackathon focusing on the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

#MyGreenAction

These are only 3 of many more inspirational green actions across Europe! Want to see more and participate too? Click here