Biofuel policy 'lacks transparency'
In a hard-hitting letter sent to senior officials, five environmental groups argue that the Commission has broken the letter and spirit of EU rules on "open, transparent and regular dialogue" with civil society.
"We are worried that a pattern of scientific obfuscation and intransparent working is emerging within the Commission regarding the impact of the European Union's biofuel policies," John Hontelez, the secretary-general of the European Environmental Bureau, wrote to the heads of the Commission's secretariat-general, departments for energy and climate action. The groups Client Earth, Birdlife International, Friends of the Earth and Greenpeace also signed the letter...
According to the green groups, a consultation meeting on 17 September in Brussels "failed to meet what we regard as the most basic principle of public participation in policymaking...to take the stakeholders seriously" and was in violation of the Lisbon treaty.
Among their complaints are that the Commission refused to allow open discussion and limited contributions to five-minute statements, meaning that the meeting, which was scheduled for six hours, ended after barely two hours. The non-governmental organisations say that the meeting organisers refused to allow scientists from the Commission's in-house scientific advice service to present a report. Three experts from the Joint Research Centre (JRC) had travelled from Ispra in Italy to take part in the meeting, but were not allowed to discuss a report by the JRC on the impact of biofuel on land use.