Dear Anthea McIntyre, Jill Seymour, James Carver, Bill Etheridge, Philip Bradbourn, Neena Gill and Siôn Simon,
I am writing to you about the proposed appointment of Karmenu Vella as the Commissioner for the Environment, Maritime affairs and fisheries, the hearing for which is tomorrow, Monday 29th.
I am extremely concerned about Mr Vella’s suitability for the post given his role in the Maltese government with its appalling track record of failing to meet its environmental legislation responsibility.
One very serious concern is their refusal to implement the EU birds directive and to crack down on illegal hunting of migrating birds, which is having a devastating impact on population numbers for many species.
Given his strong ties to the Maltese government I remain unconvinced that Mr Vella will be able to set aside these vested national interests and act impartially as environment commissioner.
I would strongly urge you to take these issues into consideration and unless you are completely satisfied that Mr Vella will indeed act to defend and strengthen existing environmental legislation then please vote to reject his nomination
Reverend Richard Clarkson
More details and information in how to contact your MEP at www.chrispackham.co.uk/
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I recieved a very encouraging response this morning from Siôn Simon, a Labour MEP, which is copied below:
Thank you for your email regarding the nomination of Karmenu Vella as Commissioner-designate for Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries.
I, along with my MEP colleagues from the Socialist & Democrats group, share your concerns about the practice of bird hunting in Malta and can assure you that this issue will be raised by our group in the scrutiny hearing this afternoon that will take place in the European Parliament’s Environment committee with Mr Vella.
The EU, although falling short of where it should be, is a world-leader when it comes to environmental and wildlife protection. It would be very short-sighted if the proposed Commission were to row back on some of the protections in place.
We will use the forthcoming hearings of the Commissioners-Designate to put these concerns directly to them and to ensure that the new Commission upholds European environmental and wildlife protections and, furthermore, that it works to strengthen them and to build a proper transition to sustainable growth.
However, if confirmed as Commissioner, Mr Vella will not be representing the interests of Malta as the European Commission represents the interests of Europe as a whole (as opposed to the interests of individual countries). I, along with S&D colleagues, will use today’s hearing to ensure that the principle of independence is respected.
Labour Member of the European Parliament for the West Midlands