Water for life - LIFE for water

A new LIFE publication is out!

Issues of water quantity and quality are of concern to many European citizens and transcend national boundaries. The contents of this LIFE Focus publication are drawn from the proceedings of the first LIFE Environment thematic conference, ‘Water for life - LIFE for water', which took place in Brussels in October 2009. The aim of the event was to examine the role of LIFE Environment as an instrument to support the implementation of the Water Framework Directive and the Marine Strategy Framework Directive, alongside other EU water-related legislation and policy. In addition to this general aim, the conference included thematic sessions (with LIFE project case studies) on four specific topics of interest: water scarcity and climate change; hydromorphological alterations; implementation of marine strategy; and eutrophication. The highlights of a poster session are also included.

We are pleased to inform you that since 15 March 2010 the new Secretary General of Youth and Environment Europe is Adriána Harnúšková from Slovakia. She is taking on the responsibilities after Alberto Mogio Perez.

If you have any doubts or questions, you can always contact her on the following e-mail addresses: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

To see the whole composition of YEE board and office you can check the section YEE board and office.

Towards a green and innovative economy

This month, the European Commission has launched the Europe 2020 Strategy to go out of the crisis and prepare EU economy for the next decade. The Commission's proposal on a new strategy follows a public consultation that attracted some 1 500 comments.

Europe faces major structural challenges - globalisation, climate change and an ageing population. The economic downturn has made these issues even more pressing. The Lisbon strategy addresses these challenges - aiming to stimulate growth and create more and better jobs, while making the economy greener and more innovative. Before the financial and economic crisis hit the EU, the strategy had helped create more than 18m new jobs. When the economy slumped, the EU acted to stabilise the financial system and adopted a recovery plan to boost demand and restore confidence.

The plan is delivering a major fiscal stimulus, with measures to keep people in work and public investment in infrastructure, innovation, new skills for the workforce, energy efficiency and clean technologies to meet the goals of the Lisbon strategy.

Green economy is one of the four key areas of the strategy, and it can help recovering from the economic crisis with the creation of new "greener" jobs.

If you need a break but you don't want it to be a waste of time, have a look at this video. It's funny, but also interesting. The guy in the video is not a comedian (although he may prove a witty one): his name is Dan Barber, he's an American chef and scholar. In 2009, Mr. Barber was named one of the world's most influential people in Time's annual "Time 100" list. This cooking expert has a philosophy of food of his own, about sustainable agriculture and tasty meals, which is definitely worth listening to.

In this talk, you will learn something about fish culture, its sustainability and the quality of these products. And you will not get bored, that's for sure. So, take your cup of coffee (or your dish of fish soup!), sit down, relax and enjoy the video!

Sign GM Food Petition now!

A few days ago, the European Commission approved growing genetically modified crops in the European Union for the first time in 12 years!

Consumers, public health, environmental and farmers groups have long rallied against a few international GM companies having such significant influence over European agriculture. Concerns about growing GM crops include: contamination of organic crops and the environment; their impact on climate due to the excessive need for pesticides; the destruction of biodiversity and local agriculture; and the effects of GM food on public health.

EU member states have voiced strong opposition to last week's decision to authorise BASF's potato and Monsanto's maize, including Italy and Austria, which want to ban GM cultivation, and France, which said it would ask for further scientific research.

There is still no consensus on the long-term effects of GM crops. And
it is the GM industry, pursuing profits not public well being, that is
funding the science and driving the regulatory environment. That is
why European citizens are calling for more independent research,
testing and precaution before crops are unleashed onto our land: we have to get the facts first before growing foods that could pose a threat to our health and environment.

Now, the "European Citizens' Initiative" gives 1 million EU citizens the opportunity to submit policy proposals to the European Commission and offers us a unique chance to drown out lobbyists' influence. Let's build a million voices for a ban on GM foods until the research is done; they will be delivered to Mr. Barroso, President of the European Commission.

Avaaz, a global web movement, is promoting a petition to raise 1 million voices to put a moratorium on the introduction of GM crops into Europe and set up an independent, ethical and scientific body to research and determine the strong regulation of GM crops.

Sign the petition now and then forward it widely!