Schulze advocates close cooperation on environmental protection and climate action
Today during her inaugural trip to Brussels, Federal Environment Minister Svenja Schulze will meet with Commissioners Karmenu Vella, Miguel Arias Cañete and Vytenis Andriukaitis to discuss climate, environmental and health policy. The Minister’s itinerary also includes talks with Frans Timmermans, Vice-President of the European Commission, and members of the European Parliament Committee on the Environment and an exchange with Jan Jambon, the Belgian Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Interior. The meeting with Minister Jambon will focus on nuclear safety issues.
Federal Environment Minister Schulze: "For successful environment and climate policy we need EU-wide approaches. Our common goal is nothing less than to protect our livelihoods, achieve a stable climate, clean air, clean water and an intact nature. We Europeans can only overcome the diverse challenges we face in these areas by pulling together. This is why close and constructive cooperation in the EU is a top priority for me."
During her meetings in Brussels, Federal Environment Minister Schulze will discuss the EU budget, the EU long-term strategy to implement the Paris Agreement, the current proposal to reduce CO2 emissions from heavy-duty vehicles, measures to counteract plastic waste and the use of pesticides. Minister Schulze is urging for a new direction in agricultural policy which pays greater attention to nature conservation, environmental protection and climate action concerns. Talks will also focus on the European Commission decision to bring an action against the Federal Republic of Germany before the European Court of Justice due to the exceedance of limit values for nitrogen dioxide (NO2).
In her meeting with Jan Jambon, Belgian Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Interior who is also responsible for the Belgian nuclear regulator FANC, Minister Schulze will discuss the nuclear power plants susceptible to malfunction located near the German border, Tihange and Doel. Germany has been calling for these power plants to be swiftly taken off the grid for quite some time now.
Federal Environment Minister Schulze: "Many people in the greater Aachen area feel threatened by the somewhat outdated nuclear power plants, Tihange and Doel, near the German border. We take these concerns very seriously and are sharing them with the responsible parties in Belgium. Germany has decided to phase out nuclear power. We would like to see our neighbouring countries following our example and taking old power plants off the grid. A few years ago, Belgium decided to extend the operating lives of its nuclear power plants Tihange 1, Doel 1 and Doel 2. I consider this to be a step in the wrong direction."
In 2016, the German-Belgian Nuclear Commission (deutsch-belgische Nuklearkommission - DBNK) was founded on the basis of a nuclear agreement signed between the two countries. In the Commission, experts from both countries exchange regularly on current nuclear safety issues. The next meeting of the Commission will be held from 13 to 14 June 2018 in Brussels.