Group meeting 25.9.08


Dear Colleagues,

Thank you for this opportunity to say something. I want to remind you that this is economically the most influential directive we have been legislating during this term. We are all united with the reduction target, there is no doubt about that. The question is how to do it. Here our methods differ.

I have been thinking a lot about Doyle´s suggestion to compromise – she said we should do it because otherwise the Green and socialist position would win. Though a horrific thought – I now can not see how the Greens could damage this report any more than we seem to be damaging it ourselves.

With so many amendments, of course we need to compromise. But compromising to me means combining the best elements of the amendments. It does not mean some kind of face-saving. Our faces are not so important when it is the planet and our industries that need the saving. We must not engage in that kind of behaviour when we should be saving Europe. We should not be so eager to get a result at any cost.

As Caroline Jackson so eloquently warned us last evening, we in the European Parliament must get our final report voted in the right way and in a consistent way because we only have one reading, one plenary vote and then it disappears into darkened rooms of Council deliberation, deviation and deals. She was asking for more transparency in these negotiations and trilogue. Mrs Doyle, in my opinion, was dismissive yesterday to Caroline. Why?

And then a comment on this compromise package: I admit that it deserves a more thorough study. But it seems to me that Mrs Doyle's compromises are not compromises at all, at least considering the strong view against auctioning that many of us colleagues share – an example is her proposal on benchmarking. Let me put it very clear: this kind of compromising is completely irrelevant. The relevant question is where and when we will apply the method of benchmarking, not the details of its wording. She is talking about the frames but we wanted to talk about the content. It is of course important to have a good definition of a concept but if we then don't use it, it remains pointless. Therefore any compromise that doesn't concern the issue of allocation of allowances and auctioning is just mere rhetoric and will not change the uncertainty and unnecessary excess costs to the EU industry, without any additional environmental benefit.

One last point: We do have a strong duty to those who elected us and hopefully will elect a large EPP – ED group next time. Naturally our first concern must be for our planet, but I contend that the measures needed to stop climate change will not be helped by creating carbon leakage, economic decline of the leading climate friendly economy and widespread unemployment. These issues are close to our EPP principles and we are now very close to the elections where the voters will not forget who threatened their jobs, lives and children's future.

Therefore I believe we should today vote on an EPP Envi Group position on ETS, benchmarking and allocation – then the rapporteur can honestly say she has a mandate of our group to continue towards the Committee and plenary votes.

It has not been easy for me to say all this. I am a team player by nature but I would rather be guilty for something I said, than for something I did not say.

Thank you

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