The European Commission refuses to publicly meet CSOs on post-Rio+20 framework

A group of CSOs active within the European network to “stop the financialisation of nature” submitted their views on the follow up of the Rio+20 United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development following a consultation on the subject opened by the European Commission. In particular they questioned the bias in the Commission’s questionnaire – used as a basis to survey different stakeholders – in favour of a stereotyped pure market-based approach – often failing – to foster sustainable development. In its formal reply DG Environment did not address the offer by European CSOs to meet in public and address together and in a constructive manner a set of alternative questions which had been submitted to the Commission.

The same group of CSOs regret avoiding reaction of the European Commission, and in particular commissioner Potocnik. The CSOs see this as a further confirmation of the bias showed in the last years by the European Commission on this matter. Such an approach will delegitimise the communication that the European Commission is about to table by the end of the month and raises questions about whether the Commission is best suited to initiate such a political process at European level.

There is an urgent need to discuss within broader civil society constituencies at European level how a democratic, unbiased and independent consultation and political discussion should take place about how to tackle the environmental and social urgencies we face nowadays. Hopefully other European institutions, such as the European Parliament, will readily state their interest and openness in having – and eventually hosting – such a public debate.

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