European Environmental Bureau
|Jeremy Wates (since May 2011)|
The European Environmental Bureau (EEB) is a federation of over 140 environmental citizens’ organisations based in all 28 European Union (EU) Member States, potential Member States and a few neighbouring countries. These organisations range from local and national, to European and international. EEB’s aim is to protect and improve Europe’s environment and to enable Europe’s citizens to play a part in achieving that goal. A key element of this process is promoting the EU’s ‘Green Leadership’.
How the EEB works
The EEB office was set up in Brussels in 1974 to provide a focal point for its members to monitor and respond to the EU’s emerging environmental policy. EEB has an information service, runs working groups with its members, produces position papers on topics that are, or EEB feels should be, on the EU agenda, and represents its members in discussions with the European Commission, the European Parliament and the Council. It closely coordinates EU-oriented activities with members at national level, and also closely follows the EU enlargement process and some pan-European issues such as follow-up to the Aarhus Convention (the UNECE 'Convention on Access to Information, Public Participation in Decision-making and Access to Justice in Environmental Matters').
EEB has consultative status at and relations with: the Council of Europe, the Commission of the European Union, the European Parliament, the Economic and Social Committee of the European Union, the OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development), the United Nation Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD). It has a membership of 143 member organisations in 31 countries: non-governmental organisations, dealing with environmental issues and nature protection.
The EEB's role in the EU
EEB has day-to-day working relationships with EU institutions including the European Commission, the European Parliament and Council of Ministers, and has routine contacts with the European Environmental Agency and other EU institutions and bodies, Member States’ Permanent Representatives and national ministries. It also has consultative status at the Council of Europe and the United Nations and plays an important role in the environmental Non-governmental Organisation (NGO) community in promoting implementation of the Aarhus Convention both within and outside the EU.
A wide member network
Environmental organisations in candidate countries (those applying to join the EU) and, increasingly, in the Western Balkans, regard EEB as their main partner with a European focus. EEB's experience, relationships and position are of great value to these states in determining their own role in processes related to EU enlargement and the environment. Owing to EEB’s proactive involvement, its members from New Member States and those aspiring to join the EU are already numerous and are increasing.
In November 2004, working with the Ban Mercury Working Group, EEB launched the Zero Mercury campaign, whose ultimate goal is to achieve zero emissions, demand and supply of mercury, from all sources we can control, to reduce global environmental mercury levels to a minimum. An international Zero Mercury Working Group was created to follow up developments at European and global level.
Since the beginning of 2011, EEB has been coordinating the Coolproducts campaign aiming at unleashing the energy savings potential of energy-related products.
- On its history see: Meyer, Jan-Henrik. 2013. Challenging the Atomic Community. The European Environmental Bureau and the Europeanization of Anti-Nuclear Protest. In Societal Actors in European Integration. Polity-Building and Policy-Making 1958-1992, edited by W. Kaiser and J.-H. Meyer. Basingstoke: Palgrave. 197-220.