Commissioner designate Karmenu Vella, who has been assigned responsibility for environment, maritime affairs and fisheries, has as one of his tasks the carrying out an in-depth evaluation of the Birds and Habitats directives to assess the potential of merging them into a more modern piece of legislation.

In his mission letter to Dr Vella, Jean-Claude Juncker, President-elect of the European Commission, told Dr Vella he should take stock of where the Commission stood in negotiations on the air strategy and see if its approach addresses the right sources of air pollution with the right instruments.

“In the light of your assessment, we can then see how best to conduct the negotiations.”

Mr Vella has also been requested to assess the state of play of the circular economy package in the light of the first reactions of the European Parliament and Council to see whether and how it was consistent with the Commission’s jobs and growth agenda and its broader environmental objectives.

He also has to implement the recently agreed reform of the Common Fisheries Policy to put the EU firmly on the path of a sustainable fishing sector and fishing communities and engage in shaping international ocean governance in the UN, in other multilateral fora and bilaterally with key global partners.

The mission letter in full can be read here.