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Hearing of Commissioner-designate Virginijus Sinkevičius

Met dank overgenomen van Europees Parlement (EP), EP-Commissie Milieubeheer, volksgezondheid en voedselveiligheid (ENVI), gepubliceerd op vrijdag 4 oktober 2019.

The Environment, Public Health and Food Safety, and Fisheries Committees questioned Virginijus Sinkevičius, candidate for the Environment and Oceans portfolio. During his introductory speech, Mr. Sinkevičius listed three priorities for environmental matters: biodiversity, the circular economy and zero pollution. He spoke in favour of working at global level to achieve the equivalent of the Paris climate agreement for biodiversity.

He also proposed extending circular economy policies to new sectors, such as textiles, food and the information and communications technology sector. To fight pollution, he announced he will focus on the challenges of hazardous chemicals, endocrine disruptors, as well as the runoff of nutrients, pharmaceuticals and microplastics in water.

Regarding fisheries, he committed to fully implementing the Common Fisheries Policy and its upcoming evaluation. He added that the EU must remain a global leader for sustainable fisheries and ocean governance. He also mentioned the importance of healthy oceans to ensure healthy fish stocks and thriving fishing communities.

MEPs put forward several questions on how EU environmental policies can enhance the role of forests as carbon sinks and biodiversity reservoirs, tackling air pollution from agriculture and industry. Members also questioned the Commissioner-designate on plastic pollution, over-packaging and eco-design.

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