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EU: Vestager wants a competitive approach to environmental policy

 |  May 8, 2019
EU Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager, a Liberal candidate to be the next Commission President, believes the key to improving Europe’s environment and fighting climate change will be implementing the laws already on the books.

During her time as the head of the EU’s competition watchdog over the past five years, Margrethe Vestager has shown she’s not afraid to take on powerful corporate and government interests. Some decisions have angered Silicon Valley and Washington, while others have angered Paris and Berlin.

In an interview with EURACTIV, Vestager said she’s ready to take the fight to national governments in the EU to make sure the bloc’s already-passed environment and climate legislation is being implemented.

“Fighting climate change is a given, it’s not something where you can choose whether you want to do it or not,” she said. “It will happen, and we can figure out how to deal with it.”

“There’s going a big task for the next Commission to work with member states to take action in real life to implement what we have decided already. There’s a number of areas where existing legislation could easily be pushed and be useful for some of the things we want to do.”

She cites as an example the current Commission’s work to redesign the European energy market design, to make it more efficient and less emissions-intensive.

“This may sound technical and remote from climate change, but it’s one of the keystones for enabling the transition into renewable energies,” she said. “The next commission will have to put this into practice, because this is very complex legislation. The Commission was very ambitious, and Parliament and Council agreed to this.

“But it will take a big effort to put that into practice and harness the benefits.”

Full Content: EurActiv

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