UNICE calls for new approach to EU enironmental policy-making that promotes innovation

Source: UNICE, 30 May 2001

UNICE today published its manifesto EU environmental policy-making for sustainable development.
It repeats the commitment of European business and industry to the fundamental idea of sustainable
development as a process in which the three goals of economic prosperity, social cohesion and
environmental quality are treated equally.
A continuation of the conventional command and control approach seems inappropriate to tackle
major environmental challenges such as climate change, in all their complexity. Development of an
unprecedented level of cooperation between all stakeholders is urgently needed to integrate
economic, societal and environmental concerns better in environmental policy-making, UNICE
President Jacobs stated.
European enterprises have a key contribution to make, said Mr Fabrizio dAdda, Chairman of
UNICEs Environment Committee and CEO & Chairman of Enichem, Italy. Autonomous initiatives by
companies remain the principal source of cost-effective progress in many environmental areas. He
emphasised the importance of making maximum use of policy instruments to support these proactive
initiatives by business.
UNICE sets out three fundamental principles in cases where legislation is the most appropriate
instrument: environmental effectiveness, economic efficiency and coherence between environmental
objectives and other objectives pursued by society, as defined at the Lisbon summit (make Europe the
worlds most competitive area, able to boost economic growth levels with more and better jobs).
Failure to apply the three above-mentioned fundamental principles can have a very negative
influence on the profitability, competitiveness and innovation capacity of the companies concerned,
and would thereby erode EU companies contribution to environmental progress and sustainable
development in Europe and worldwide, Mr dAdda concluded.
UNICEs Environmental manifesto forms part of the European business contribution to future EU
strategy for sustainable development that the Gothenburg Council is to discuss. UNICE welcomes the
broader perspectives contained in the Commissions communication adopted last week, reflecting the
intrinsic relationships between the economic, social and environmental aspects. We hope that the
Council summit will take the opportunity for a wide-ranging strategic debate on what is all too often
regarded essentially as a challenge for environment policy. Further, setting ambitious environmental
objectives can only be envisaged if stronger progress is made in parallel on regulatory reforms, for
example liberalisation of energy markets and rail transport.

Download the manifesto