site.btaEU Environment Commissioner Sinkevicius Addresses Bulgarian Parliamentary Committees

EU Environment Commissioner Sinkevicius Addresses Bulgarian Parliamentary Committees
EU Environment Commissioner Sinkevicius Addresses Bulgarian Parliamentary Committees
ЕU Commissioner Virginijus Sinkevicius addresses a joint meeting of two Bulgarian parliamentary committees, Sofia, September 14, 2023 (BTA Photo)

Visiting EU Environment, Oceans and Fisheries Commissioner Virginijus Sinkevicius addressed a joint meeting of the Bulgarian National Assembly Committees on Environment and Water and on EU Affairs, the Schengen Area and the Euro Area here on Thursday.

The Commissioner said that the EU Nature Restoration Law will be finalized within the next couple of months. Typical conservation and preservation measures will give way to economic activities that do not harm the ecosystem. He stressed that the European Commission’s proposal for a Nature Restoration Law is important because people and farms are impacted by damaged ecosystems.

Climate Change

Extreme disasters occur because the ecosystem cannot cope with the quantity of rainwater, which triggers landslides and damages property, Sinkevicius said, referring to a September 5 flooding in Tsarevo (on the southern Bulgarian Black Sea coast).

Flooding and wildfires are among the most frequent disasters, the Commissioner said. In his estimate, wildfires in Europe this summer came earlier than expected, as evident from the case of Greece.

Member States apparently do not invest enough in prevention. Without preventive measures, the cost will be higher later on, Sinkevicius argued, reiterating that Bulgaria can rely on assistance from the EU to mitigate the effects of the recent coastal disaster.

Black Sea Challenges

The EU Commissioner said that climate change is having an obvious impact. He condoled with the families of the four persons killed by the flooding in Tsarevo. In his words, the fragile Black Sea environment must be protected. This includes support for fishermen as part of the local community.

The European Commission has a vision for sustainable future of Black Sea farms, Sinkevicius commented. He also called attention to the pollution of the Black Sea from the war in Ukraine. Maritime security is crucial, he stressed, adding that the Marine Strategy is being reviewed to address the current situation.

The Commissioner said that the European Maritime, Fisheries and Aquaculture Fund is working for improved coordination among countries bordering on the Black Sea.

Green Deal and What It Seeks

A systematic Green Transition should not be regarded as unaffordable luxury but as something to rely on in order to avoid disasters and achieve resilience, according to Sinkevicius. He recalled that the Green Deal was adopted back in 2019.

The Commissioner finds that Bulgaria has made progress in the circular economy, judging from the Circular Economy Action Plan.

Meeting demand for sustainable products, including batteries, also figured high on the agenda of the meeting between the members of the two parliamentary committees and Sinkevicius. At the end of the talks, the Commissioner said that he personally backs Bulgaria’s Schengen entry. He also argued that Ukraine has the right to protect itself against the country that has attacked it.

/MY/

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By 11:15 on 14.04.2024 Today`s news

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