The Environmental Pillar and the Sustainable Water Network (SWAN) are urgently seeking a meeting with Commissioner Virginijus Sinkevičius to discuss Ireland’s Nitrates Derogation during his visit to Ireland on Nov 23rd.
It is important that the Commissioner comes away from Ireland with a balanced and informed view of civil society’s attitude to the Commission’s position on Ireland’s Nitrates Derogation, the two organisations said.
“We know that Commissioner Sinkevičius has been a champion for NGO and civil society participation in environmental and fisheries matters. This is a key moment for water quality in Ireland. It is critical that the Commissioner hears from those of us that have been sounding the alarm on water quality for over a decade,” said Environmental Pillar Steering Committee Member and SWAN vice-chair Dr Elaine McGoff.
The majority of Irish citizens are supportive of the Commission’s work to tackle the negative water, air, climate and biodiversity impacts associated with the ongoing intensification of the dairy industry, they added. These issues need to be addressed in a holistic way that respects Irish citizens’ right to a healthy environment but also ensures a just transition for farmers. What farmers require now is honesty and clarity from decision makers and farming leaders.
A delegation from the Irish Farmers’ Association met with Commissioner Sinkevičius on November 8th in Brussels to discuss the issue. Commissioner Sinkevicius has been invited to meet with the Taoiseach, Minister McConalogue and a delegation from the Irish agriculture and rural sectors while he is in Ireland.
The Environmental Pillar and SWAN is asking the Commissioner, in the interests of balance and impartiality, to reconsider his Irish agenda so as to make time to meet with them.