Solvay was born out of a major technological breakthrough in 1863. Within 50 years, and thanks to successful partnerships, it had become the largest chemical group in the world.
Tag Archives: environment
ACR+ is the associations of cities and regions for recycling and sustainable resource management. ACR+examined with attention the EC waste policy.
ACR+ agrees with the need to clarify the EU targets
concerning waste prevention and management
ACR+ supports the opinion adopted by the EU Committee of the Regions (CoR), in
which it proposes to introduce ambitious and binding new targets on waste
production, collection, treatment and recycling.
The CoR proposal includes:
reducing 2010 levels of waste by 10% by 2020
exploring options to raise the recycling target of solid municipal waste to
70% by 2025,
ensuring that 100% of waste is subject to selective sorting by 2020
exploring options to raise targets for recycling plastics to 70% and for glass,
metal, paper, cardboard and wood to 80%
prohibiting the landfill of biodegradable waste by 2020
banning the incineration of recyclable waste (including biowaste) by 2020
from our special correspondant in Nantes, our publisher Miguel D. DESNERCK
The Eco-City world summit opens today in Nantes (France).
Nantes is this year the European Green Capital for the whole european union. This title was awarded to Nantes two years ago as a city which made many efforts to contribute to a zero-emission, sustainable and green city.
Today, Nantes hosts a very important world summit with the contribution of UN Habitat and the PNUE.
Responsibles of lots of world cities gather for three day to draw the lines of a new sustainability policy for the next generation. Meetings, discussions and informal get together will help shaping new policy initiatives to contribute to better liveable cities with in their mind sustainability, green policies and exchanges between the inhabitants.
We come back on this very important summit.
Miguel D. DESNERCK
On 24 June 2013, the European Commission held a full-day conference on “The EU Dairy Sector: Developing Beyond 2015”, in the context of the abolition of the milk quotas that year. 20 CEJA young farmers attended the conference from across the European Union (EU) in order to contribute to the important discussion on the future of the sector, particularly in the context of competitiveness on the international market.
The conference, set on a backdrop of concerns that the new Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) will not be able to address issues related to the end of the milk quotas in 2015, focused on new ideas for additional policy tools to keep the future of the EU dairy sector sustainable. The conference was invite-only, and participants included a number of European producers as well as Ministers and senior ministry officials; Members of the European Parliament; and representatives from national permanent representations, industry, consumers and environmental groups. The Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development, Dacian Cioloş, opened the conference with a speech focusing on the reasoning behind the conference and the importance of input from participants, stating that: “Things are now in your hands. I encourage you to come forward with analyses, questions and ideas which are pragmatic and realistic given the diversity of the European dairy sector.”
This was followed by detailed presentations from experts, presenting market data and projections for the next years of European dairy production, particularly in terms of the international market context. Participants were then divided into workshops to “brainstorm” suggestions to ensure territorial sustainability of the sector, to combat market volatility and to rebalance the food supply chain. During the concluding plenary session, CEJA Vice-President Paola Del Castillo spoke on the subject of attracting young farmers to the dairy sector, highlighting the fact that: “The future of the sector depends on young people; so the sector needs profitability, market transparency and improved access in order to attract young farmers.” Speaking after the conference, CEJA President Mr Bartolini added: “CEJA is committed to working with these ideas in order to develop concrete suggestions for the future to submit to the European Commission, in an attempt to further the work which has begun today. The dairy sector presents important opportunities for young farmers entering agriculture, and we must ensure that it has the future prospects to accommodate them.”
On 29 August 2013, CEJA (Confederation Europeenne des Jeunes Agriculteurs) President, Matteo Bartolini, opened the conference to a hundred young farmers from across Hungary, Slovakia and the rest of Europe in Tata, Hungary.
The young farmer and winegrower from Umbria, Italy, gave an overview of the content of the recently agreed Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) reform to the audience of young farmers, underlining the importance of the inclusion of a strong common installation policy in the new CAP, made-up of strong measures in both Pillars.
Mr Bartolini then called upon the young farmers to contact their ministers about these issues, to ensure that they get the best deal they possibly can out of this monumental reform of the CAP.
Other speakers included agricultural experts, advisors, and representatives from both the Hungarian and Slovakian ministries, as well as both Presidents of the two national young farmer organisations; AGRYA in Hungary and ASYF in Slovakia.
The conference focused on the future framework of agricultural policy in the European Union (EU) following on from the June political agreement on CAP which was made on 26 June 2013.
This agreement included a mandatory top-up of direct payments for young farmers and installation aid under rural development, among other policies.
This is why it is crucial that all Member States stand by what they have previously said about the need for generational renewal in the EU agricultural sector, and choose a calculation method which maximises the 2% of their national budget in their particular situation; opt for young farmer installation aid as a key part of their Rural Development Programme, for which particularly high co-financing rates are available if a Member State requires them; and select most favourable and relevant measures possible as part of their young farmer subprogramme.
Speaking directly to the Hungarian and Slovak young farmers present at the conference, the CEJA President called on the audience for their support, saying: “We will do our best to represent your views at the European level and to achieve progress for young farmers across the Union. I, and my team of Vice-Presidents, will dedicate the coming months to ensure that farmers across the EU get the best deal possible out of the CAP reform; Europe can now start to implement serious measures to address the age crisis in European agriculture.”
The European Investment Bank (EIB) is lending EUR 87 million to Klaipedos Nafta for the construction and operation of a new liquefied natural gas (LNG) import facility located in the port of Klaipeda. This investment is critical for Lithuania to diversify and secure its energy supply as well as provide backup in the event of gas supply failures.
The LNG terminal comprises a floating storage and regasification vessel (leased by Klaipedos Nafta), an offshore jetty including gas handling facilities and an 18 km pipeline connection to the Lithuanian gas grid, which are being financed by the EIB loan. The project is planned to be finalised by the end of 2014.
“The EIB strongly promotes security and diversification of energy supply. We therefore particularly welcome this agreement with Klaipedos Nafta, as the project will ensure the sustained supply of a key source of energy and will increase competition in Lithuania. We would obviously like to see this as the first of a series of energy projects that we could finance in Lithuania”, said EIB Vice-President Pim van Ballekom at the signing ceremony.
Lithuanian Minister of Energy Jaroslav Neverovič added: “The LNG Terminal in Klaipėda is a critical component of Lithuania’s energy strategy as it is the alternative solution for gas diversification in the short term. This EIB loan is vitally important for timely construction of the necessary infrastructure already by the end of next year. It will bring transparent competition to the gas market, with national and possibly regional consumers set to benefit.”
“We are delighted that Klaipedos Nafta concluded this loan agreement with the EIB today. This long-term loan will be the backbone of the LNG terminal’s project financing and will ensure that the project will be completed in a timely fashion. This is very important as the LNG terminal will bring competition to the Lithuanian gas market for the first time ever”, remarked Rokas Masiulis, CEO of Klaipedos Nafta.
Note to the editor:
The EIB is the long-term lending institution of the European Union owned by its Member States. It makes long-term finance available for sound investment in order to contribute towards EU policy goals.
In 2008-2012, the EIB provided loans in Lithuania totalling EUR 1.24 billion. Infrastructure was the recipient of EIB support in line with the EU’s aim of strengthening cohesion and convergence in the European Union.
Summary Report of the Symposium : Inventory, Challenges and
Recently, a symposium took place at Leiden University on May 16th, 2013 on legal and policy aspects of space cooperation between Europe and BRICS Countries.
In 2009, the BRIC countries (Brasil, India, China, Russia, South-Africa) assembled a flexible political and economic grouping of major developing countries.
The interdisciplinary event was jointly organized by the International Institute
of Air and Space Law of Leiden Law School and the Department of Latin American
Studies of Leiden University’s Faculty of Humanities.
The international “Green Key” eco-label, which distinguishes tourist establishments for their
environmental performance, has just been awarded to 6 new candidates in Brussels, bringing to 28
the number of facilities in the Brussels-Capital Region with the label. 80% youth hostels and
accommodation centres for young people in Brussels recognised by the French Community
Commission (COCOF) now have the “Green Key” label.
Sustainability is known to be a further important feature of tourism today, with institutional buyers
(for conferences) and some visitors (holiday makers) seeking “green” products. In response to this
phenomenon, eco-labels and other accreditations have proliferated, at the risk of spreading
confusion. In order to support the hotel industry and other types of tourist facilities in the BrusselsCapital region, Christos Doulkeridis, Brussels Minister for Tourism, wanted to adopt a clear,
recognised label which would see Brussels positioned as a sustainable destination by 2014. At the
end of 2010, following a process of reflection and independent analysis, he opted for the
international “Green Key” label represented in Wallonia and Brussels by the Inter-Environment
Association for Wallonia (IEW).
The Green Key label operates based on a system of mandatory criteria, which candidates must
satisfy in full, and optional criteria, in respect of which candidates must gain a minimum of one third
of the total points at stake. Establishments awarded the label, therefore, comply with a series of
requirements in a number of fields and are distinguished by the measures they undertake in order to
satisfy the optional criteria. Green Key labels are awarded twice a year for a period of one year and
establishments must demonstrate continuous improvement from one year to the next in terms of
The Brussels hotel sector currently has almost 2,500 “Green Key” rooms, representing almost 16% of
the hotel rooms recognised by COCOF. In terms of accommodation for young people, almost 80% of
 In order to be accredited, Green Key candidates must satisfy criteria relating to water, energy and waste
management, the promotion of eco-friendly transport and activities in the natural environment, cleaning,
catering, the management of green spaces and the interior environment, administration and office facilities,
environmental management in general and information to and involvement of customers and staff. The label
combines environmental performance criteria (strictly eco-label criteria) and environmental management (EMS
criteria).the capacity is accredited, with the label now awarded to 4 out of 5 Brussels hostels and centres
recognised by COCOF, i.e. 4/5ths of the available beds.
Below is a list of establishments accredited in the “first round” of 2013 together with one example
for each of a good environmental practice – amongst numerous others – justifying their
The Diamant Brussels Conference & Business Centre (80 Bd. A. Reyerslaan, 1030 Brussels –
http://www.diamant.be): conference centre with 20 meeting rooms, located between the
European District and Zaventem Airport, which is distinguished inter alia by initiatives in
terms of sustainable food and in particular the number of vegetarian dishes available to
The B&B Chambre Chocolat (145 rue de la Cambre, 1150 Brussels –
http://www.bruxelleschambredhote.net/): bed and breakfast located a stone’s throw from
Montgomery Square, which offers more sustainable solutions in terms of energy (high
performance boiler and solar panels) and transport (provision of bicycles for visitors to use).
Le Méridien Bruxelles (3 Carrefour de l’Europe, 1000 Brussels –
14): hotel located in the centre of the city, which has developed interesting initiatives in
particular in relation to waste (recycling bins for toiletries and food packaging) and transport
(reduction for guests using public transport).
The Brussels Generation Europe Youth Hostel (4 rue de l’Eléphant, 1080 Brussels –
hostel in Molenbeek, near the Saint-Géry district, which is distinguished inter alia by its
policy in terms of societal responsibility and the steps taken to reduce water consumption
The Foyer Européen (17 rue Traversière, 1210 Brussels – http://www.etr-brussels.be): centre
located near the botanical gardens, which provides accommodation for European students
and is distinguished by rational water management (use of rain water, restriction on flow
rates) and a green roof.
The Sleep Well Youth Hostel (23 rue du Damier, 1000 Brussels – http://www.sleepwell.be): located
5 minutes from the Grand Place, this youth hostel is distinguished in particular by the local,
organic and fair trade products available to guests and the use of renewable energy (100 %
In addition, seven establishments had their accreditation renewed: the Radisson Blu Royal (47 Rue
du Fossé-aux-Loups, 1000 Brussels) and the Radisson Blu EU (35 rue d’Idalie, 1050 Brussels), the
Auberge des 3 Fontaines (2057 chaussée de Wavre, 1160 Brussels), the BiHome B&B (15 avenue
Maréchal Foch, 1030 Brussels), the Stanhope hotel (9 rue du Commerce, 1000 Brussels), the hotel
Dolce La Hulpe Brussels (135 chaussée de Bruxelles, 1310 La Hulpe), the hotel Le Plaza (118-126
boulevard Adolphe Max, 1000 Brussels).
Supported in particular by the Brussels Hotels Association (BHA), this initiative is managed by
the Inter-Environment Association for Wallonia, official partner of the FEE for Brussels and Wallonia,
in close collaboration with Wallonie-Bruxelles Tourisme (WBT), VISITBRUSSELS,Brussels Booking Desk (BBD) and the trade associations Hostels in Brussels, Bed &
Brussels and Brussels Special Venue, as well as the Brussels tourist department in COCOF.
SEMI means semi-conductors. A very vivid industry which is really a key business in everyone’s everyday life. Recently, a meeting took place in Brussels gathering all stakeholders of the semi-conductors industry: big companies, the European commission, representants of states, think tanks, research institutes….
brusselsdiplomatic.com met Hans Kundert, the chairman of SEMI.He explains us why semiconductors are very important for everyone and for the development of our economy
Miguel D. DESNERCK
SusChem is an initiative of CEFIC (the european Chemical industry council), academics and the industrial world to conduct a reflexion about sustainable chemistry in Europe in the future.
SusChem stakeholders met on may 14th and 15th in Brussels to discuss resource efficiency, water efficiency, raw materials and energy materials/smart cities.
BRUSSELS DIPLOMATIC intervewed Dr gernotz Klotz, the vice-president of SusChem who explained us what is and what does Suschem
Miguel D. DESNERCK