Bellona Europa opened its new office in Brussels on 11 September. At the event marking the occasion, the Bellona representatives focused on the main priorities for Bellona's work towards the European Union.
Bellona Europa marked the opening of its new office with a small reception for its friends and contacts in the EU environment. Located a five minutes walk from the European Parliament, the light and spacious loft-like office above a printing office, provides Bellona Europa with an inspiring place to work.
Of the guests that attended the event were Mr. Einar Bull, President of the EFTA Surveillance Authority, Mr. Bjørn T. Grydeland, the Norwegian Ambassador to the EU, Ms. Heidi Hautala, Member of the European Parliament, a number of officials form the European Commission, Parliament, the European Environmental Bureau, as well as from Bellona partners from business and industry.
In her words of welcome, the Director of Bellona Europa, Ms. Soizick Martin emphasised on the close co-operation between The Bellona Foundation and the European Parliament regarding the work on promoting Human and Environmental Rights in Russia. Alexander Nikitin has himself expressed that he would probably still be in prison if it had not been for the international political pressure promulgated by the European Parliament.
Today, the case of Russian journalist Grigory Pasko, sentenced to four years in labour camp for reporting on the environmental effects of the Russian Pacific Fleet, requires similar mobilisation. His nomination for the European Parliament’s Shakarov Prize for the Freedom of Thought, is a step in the right direction, Ms. Martin said.
She went on talking about Bellona’s work to stop Russia from importing spent nuclear fuel, which is also the focus of a joint Inter Parliamentary Working Group (IGWP) between the European Parliament and the Russian State Duma. Bellona is organising the IPWGs forthcoming trip to Murmansk in October.
Paal Frisvold, policy advisor at Bellona Europa, drew attention to Bellona’s efforts to monitor and lobby EU legislation regarding the Internal Market. In this regard, Bellona is particularly following EU policy initiatives in the fields of industry, environment, energy, and transport. The Norwegian refusal to join the EU in 1994 – while legally bound to adopt all EU legislation through the EEA Agreement, made it all the more important for Bellona to be present where key legislation is conceived, discussed and adopted, he said.
Contact Bellona Europa at:
Bellona Europa aisbl
25, rue de Sceptre,
B- 1050 Brussels
Phone: 00 32 648 31 22