Policies & Initiatives

Green Diplomacy Network

The Thessaloniki European Council agreed to launch an initiative aimed at promoting the integration of environment into external relations through the creation of an informal network of environment experts within foreign ministries, the so-called Green Diplomacy Network. This was one of the elements included in the strategy on environmental integration in external policies adopted by the Barcelona General Affairs Council in March 2002. In essence, the main tasks of the network will be: 

Firstly, in line with the Action Plan and with comments made since by Member States, the Network should promote the use of the EU's extensive diplomatic resources (diplomatic missions, development cooperation offices) in support of environmental objectives, orchestrating campaigns and demarches that bring the EU messages to third parties all over the world, gathering also our partners' views. The network could help create a new "culture" by introducing points relating to the multilateral agenda more systematically into regular bilateral discussions. 

Secondly, in line with the European Council's basic mandate of promoting the integration of environment into external relations, the network should consider how foreign ministries are integrating environmental concerns into their working processes across the spectrum. This could start with simple but useful information exchanges, such as on how Member States and the Commission are organised in capitals and abroad to channel their efforts in the field of environment. In the longer term, it may be appropriate to identify best practices and potential synergies. The coordination of the network resides in each Presidency in full association with the Commission. The European Commission's participation in the network will be essential to guarantee its effectiveness, inter alia, by ensuring continuity and by making substantial contributions, such as briefings on specific topics. A report on the first two years of the network's operation will be presented to the European Council in 2005. 

For more information, please see http://ec.europa.eu/external_relations/environment/gdn/index_en.htm