EU to fund ‘resource revolution’, with strings attachedPublished: 06 October 2010Brussels will have to come up with stricter conditions in delivering EU funds and citizens will have to make wide – and sometimes difficult – changes to their lifestyles if the EU is serious about accelerating resource efficiency, experts said yesterday (5 October).
Speaking at a panel debate during the Open Days in Brussels, policymakers and industry experts agreed that in order to speed up Europe’s drive to become a more resource-efficient economy, major changes were needed.
Echoing the sentiments of EU Environment Commissioner Janez Potočnik, Polish centre-right MEP Danuta Hübner, chair of the European Parliament’s regional development committee, argued that while good laws exist at both at European and national level, this cannot in itself guarantee the type of changes needed.
‘Civilisational change’ needed
What is required is nothing less than a “civilisational change,” she said, which will on the one hand force EU citizens to change the way they live and consume, and on the other hand demand that EU leaders take a truly long-term focus.
Comprehensive new EU rules for resource efficiency will have to widen their scope beyond the traditional questions of energy use and promote changes in transport, water use, food consumption, building rules and the use of metals, to cite a few examples.
Tie funding to efficiency rules – Commission
Rudolf Niessler, a director in the Commission’s regional policy department, said that regional funds have already “accumulated an enormous stock of projects” to improve resource efficiency, so EU efforts are not starting from scratch.
Nevertheless, there is still a long way to go in “generating the new culture” needed, he said……………