EEA Management Board meeting of 14-15 March 2002
The Management Board of the European Environment Agency held
its 30th meeting on 14 and 15 March 2002 at the Agency's offices in Copenhagen.
The meeting was chaired by Kees Zoeteman, chairman of the Board.
The meeting was the first held since 11 countries in central and eastern Europe and the Mediterranean basin that are seeking accession to the EU became members of the Agency with effect from 1 January 2002. It was also the last that Domingo Jiménez-Beltrán, EEA Executive Director since the Agency became operational in 1994, will attend in his current capacity as he is retiring from the post at the end of May 2002.
The Management Board expressed strong support for the Agency's position that the European Commission's annual progress report to the spring European Council should in future give a stronger profile to the environmental dimension of the EU Sustainable Development Strategy.
The Board adopted the draft budget for 2003, proposing a Community subsidy of 21.38 million Euro. When this is combined with contributions from the 11 new member countries (as well as from Poland and Turkey when they become members in the near future) and from the three countries of the European Economic Area, the Agency's total budget would rise to 29.3 million Euro, compared with 25.0 million Euros this year.
The increased budget will allow the Agency to work with most of the European countries and to support the process of EU enlargement by providing environmental information. Ongoing activities will be strengthened on a broad range of environmental issues such as climate change, transport, energy and agriculture. Activities will be extended in particular in the fields of environment and health, chemicals and technological risk.
Election of a Vice-Chairperson
Hendrik Vygen, Germany's member of the Board, was elected a vice-chair of the Board.
Appointment of a new Executive Director postponed
The Management Board issued the following statement:
"In accordance with the EU Regulation governing the Agency, the Management Board interviewed the candidates proposed by the Commission. However, no candidate obtained the support of the two-thirds majority of the Board required for appointment.
The Board therefore asks the Commission to submit a new shortlist of candidates for its consideration at the earliest opportunity. It requests the publication of a new call for applications for the post of Executive Director, based on broader criteria, in a wider range of printed and electronic media."
The Board endorsed the Agency's plans to hold two major events in Copenhagen in May 2002:
- on 16 May, a high-level conference, titled Towards a knowledge-based sustainable society, to mark Domingo Jiménez-Beltrán's eight years as Executive Director;
- on 17 May, a celebration of the EEA's enlargement
to the countries of central and eastern Europe and the Mediterranean basin,
with the participation of Margot Wallström, EU Commissioner for Environment.