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ENVE: What's Next?  

How can we maximise the potential of aerospace technologies to boost regional economies? What common rules should frame EU's natural gas internal market? What shape is the transatlantic dialogue on climate taking? These were some of the questions answered during the first meeting of the year of the members of the Commission for Environment, Climate Change and Energy (ENVE) held in Brussels Thursday 8 January.

The ENVE commission meeting started with Roby Biwer (LU/PES) reporting on his presence at the Winter Meeting of the US Conference of Mayors on January 25 in Washington D.C.

Vice-President Biwer confirmed the will of the American association to support the development of the transatlantic dialogue on climate, referring to a possible joint event and common statement for the next COP24 in Poland. Biwer suggested to enlarge the CoR's range of action by exploring cooperation with other networks such as the american National League of Cities (NLC).

With the same objective of reinforcing transatlantic relations, ENVE chairman Cor Lamers (NL/EPP) confirmed that the May plenary debate is to focus on the transatlantic dialogue on climate with the presence of representatives of the USCOM and the Canadian Federation of Municipalities.

Members had an exchange of views on the rules for the internal market in natural gas , an upcoming opinion by rapporteur Mauro D' Attis (IT/EPP), Vice-president of the EPP Group of the CoR. The debate was based on a working document and responds to a legislative proposal by the European Commission . Rapporteur D'Attis said: 'New rules, taking into account the features of the market and the development of the related infrastructure, should be carefully thought through with a view to the long term, rather than on an ad-hoc basis.'

ENVE organised a round table discussion with the European Space Agency (ESA) on ' Growth, innovation and investment in Europe’s Regions: the opportunities of space .' Members agree on the huge potential space technologies have for regional economies yet substantial investments are urgently needed.

Andres Jaadla (ET/ALDE), rapporteur of the CoR 'Space Strategy for Europe' said: 'EU, national and regional levels must cooperate to pro-actively develop policy measures that incentivise new businesses, spin-offs and start-ups in the space sector.'

Markku Markkula , CoR first Vice-president called on the European Commission to develop a European Space Strategy 'that supports cities and regions key priorities such as boosting competitiveness to create jobs, consolidating the digital single market, fighting global warming and managing natural resources.'

Michele Emiliano (IT/PES), President of the Puglia Region and of the NEREUS network declared: We are very proud of the efforts of our Regional Aerospace and Technology District (DTA) and our Regional Agency for Technology and Innovation (ARTI) that brought Puglia to be the Italian region with the biggest growth in aerospace.'

Rapporteur Jaadla concluded: 'We must get young people inspired, motivated and involved in space technologies are a great investment for the future. We must invest more on education, raising awareness activities and show success stories about the role the European public has in the development of complex aerospace systems.'

Brian Synnott, advisor to Commissioner Vella, presented the Green Week 2018: Green Cities for a Greener Future. The biggest DG Environment annual event will take place from 21 to 25 May 2018. CoR members have been invited to support the organisation of local events, debates and seminars in their own regions, towns and cities on how to create tomorrow's greener cities.

The CoR will host the European Week Waste Reduction award ceremony Tuesday 22 May 2018.

Members of the ENVE commission appointed the following rapporteurs:

  • Andrew Cooper (UK/EA) on Climate governance after 2020: a contribution to the UNFCCC COP24 . As Katowice is to deliver the final Paris agreement work programme, the CoR wants its governance to further empower cities and regions as indispensable actors to reverse global warming.

  • Roby Biwer (LU/PES) on the Contribution of EU local and Regional Authorities to CBD COP14, the 14th Meeting of the Conference of Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity to take place in Sharm El-Sheik, Egypt on 10-22 Nov 2018. The opinion is to focus on how LRA are and can contribute to the Aichi Biodiversity Targets.

  • André Van de Nadort (NL/PES) on a European Strategy for Plastics in a Circular Economy. The opinion responds to an EC communication on plastics included in its 2018 work programme to deliver the Circular Economy Action Plan.

  • Mark Weinmeister (DE/EPP) on the proposal of a Directive on the quality of water intended for human consumption (recast). The Committee will contribute to the Commissions' proposal which is a reaction to the Right2Water initiative to improve access to water, in particular for vulnerable and marginalised groups.

ENVE presented its impact report for 2017.

Additional Information

26 November 2016. A space strategy for Europe . Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament, the Council, the European Economic And Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions.

Last October 2017, the Committee adopted Andres Jaadla's 'Space Strategy for Europe'. The opinion preaches fostering integrative partnerships between civil society, business, public institutions and the science community to maximise the potential of space technologies for regional economies. Today, rapporteur Jaadla reiterated the need to inspire young people, better train specialists and raise awareness on the benefits of space technologies.

Copernicus is the European Union's Earth Observation Programme. It offers information services based on satellite Earth Observation and in situ (non-space) data.

Galileo is Europe’s own global navigation satellite system , providing a highly accurate, guaranteed global positioning service under civilian control.

The European Geostationary Navigation Overlay Service (EGNOS) is the first pan-European satellite navigation system. It augments the US GPS satellite navigation system and makes it suitable for safety critical applications such as flying aircraft or navigating ships through narrow channels.

Contact: David Crous | | +32 (0) 470 88 10 37