The issue of the environment is not prominent in debate in France on the Constitutional Treaty, not even among the Greens. Nevertheless, the French grant it great importance. In that sense, changes in our individual behaviors are indispensable, but international regulations are also required. In Europe there have been imposed, in a growing and natural way, the most pertinent of numerous regulations and actions to improve the quality of our atmosphere. Let us mention four examples:

The process of European integration has lead to the adoption standards more restrictive than the existing French ones regarding soil, air, and water pollution.

The directive “Nature 2000,” which French public officials opposed for a long time, allowed our country to create a network of protected nature areas.

The European “bird” directive, applied by the French magistracy with the support of associations responsible for the environment, pleasingly made up for the political apathy of those responsible when confronted by a pro-hunting pressure group.

Without the European Union-which has played an essential part in the negotiation of the international agreements in the fight against climatic change-the Kyoto Protocol would not have been able to be applied.

The European Constitutional Treaty (ECT) reaffirms European contributions to that which concerns the environment. It confirms the EU’s aim of sustainable development and constitutionalizes the principles of precaution and responsibility incumbent on polluters, something which can be raised in the future by the defenders of the environment. The ECT goes farther than the Environmental Charter recently appended to the French Constitution. Another remarkable achievement, in Part III, is the identification of explicit competition with regard to energy; for the first time, the objectives of promoting energy efficiency and energy saving are affirmed, as is the development of new and renewable energy sources.

Additionally, the improvement and democratization of the process of decision-making at the European level will allow for better understanding of the objectives related to the environment: the increased role of Parliament through the extension of the co-decision procedure that, in numerous spheres, will allow this to become a full co-legislator alongside the Council of Ministers, and the legal status that it will have in the future UE will finally allow its adhesion as such to the European Human Rights Charter and recourse to jurisprudence of the Court of Strasbourg on environmental matters. To this should be added the right to demand, which opens new perspectives to the European environmentalist to begin struggles at that level.
Ecological urgency demands we not surrender the advances proposed in the ECT. The future of Europe is in our hands; it is we who should decide what we wish to construct for the future generations.

The Main Leaders of the &8220;Green&8221; Parties
Denis Baupin (deputy mayor of Paris), Yves Cochet (former minister, deputy from Paris), Alain Lipietz (European deputy), Noël Mamère (deputy, mayor of Bègles), Dominique Voynet (former minister, senator representing Seine-Saint-Denis) and Yann Wehrling (National Secretary of the Green Party).

Source: Le Figaro (France)
Reference: «Voter oui pour une Europe plus respectueuse de l’environnement», por los principales dirigentes del partido «Los Verdes», Le Figaro, 25 de mayo de 2005.