Environmentalists Send EC Complaint Over Agriculture Committee ({{commentsTotal}})

Source: Photo: Postimees/Scanpix

The Council of Environmental NGOs has recalled its representative from the Agriculture Ministry's rural life development committee and criticized the ministry in an open letter to the European Commission.

The environmentalists said committee leadership has been undemocratic, with Minister of Agriculture Helir-Valdor Seeder thwarting proposals for environmental protection and green agriculture.

Agricultural policies have harmed Baltic Sea and freshwater environments, the letter said, charging that the ministry has done nothing to improve the situation.

"We find that, not only is this approach a threat to the environment, but also discriminatory to farmers who continue to use environmentally friendly methods.”

The NGO group claimed the ministry has only considered one out of many proposals, and that came thanks only to significant pressure from the Environment Ministry and private forest owners. The said proposal involved measures for supporting Natura 2000 forests.

"We find it important to stress that […] the vote-based decision making process is not democratic because the committee, which is not formed on the basis of elections, lacks a mandate for such votes,” the letter said.