On January 1 of this year, the European Union assigned a new president to the Environment Council a Forbes article written by Dave Keating reports. If you are unfamiliar with the EU’s rotation of governmental power, every six months one country takes over the Council of the EU which is essentially a chamber of ministers from each of the national governments who represent the different governmental departments such as agriculture, the environment, and so on. There are 28 countries within the EU so they try to distribute this power equally. Neno Dimov, Bulgaria’s Environment Minister will serve as the coordinator of the EU’s environmental policy for the next six months. Unfortunately, Dimov has declared himself an “opponent of climate science” in the past and believes that climate change is a fraud. He also openly admires U.S. President Donald Trump and shares his idea that “global warming is being used as a tool of intimidation” (Keating). There has been great protest over this new administration, particularly concerning his decisions regarding sustainability and preservation within Bulgaria. He wants to allow development in previously protected nature areas such as the National Park Pirin to promote economic growth, defending his unpopular decision by stating, “We must have some symbiosis between these two trends, if we want to improve the standard of our living as they both determine the quality of life” (Keating).
I believe the author of this article was mainly targeting individuals with a liberal standpoint on climate science, specifically Americans who may not agree with the current US administration’s stance on the subject due to his statement near the end of the article suggesting that Dimov’s strategies may be very similar to Scott Pruitt’s, the current head of the EPA. The language used in the article suggests that the author agrees with the protestors at some level and is possibly persuading the reader to do so as well. There is potential bias based on the fact that the author typically covers environmental politics in Brussels and may have a strong opinion on political issues within the EU. Personally, I feel that the article was not overly political and provides the reader an opportunity to better understand global current events. Keating provided ample detail about Dimov’s past political work and allows the reader to make their own conclusions regarding his stance on environmental policy. This article is relevant to our class not only because of the potential environmental impacts this new administration may cause but also the economic and social issues it addresses. There is unrest in the EU and Bulgaria in particular, these citizens are concerned about the new exchange of power due to the prospective devastating effects it may have on their homeland’s ecosystems. Dimov claims to have a moderate stance on these issues and will not state his personal opinion. However, past interviews and his history in doubting climate change suggest otherwise. In an online video posted in 2015, he states, “[global warming] is a fraud, used to scare people.” (Keating). Due to his past transgressions against environmentalists, these protests seem valid and necessary if the citizens of Bulgaria and the rest of the EU want their Environmental Council President to uphold their beliefs and represent their nation fairly.
This was an interesting new perspective and great way to learn more about government and legislation in other parts of the world. I appreciate the background information on how the EU operates, it’s completely new information to me that officials rotated into and out of power so frequently. Perhaps there is some good in such a quick turn around, for when individuals like Mr. Dimov are in power, they only have a short amount of time to oversee their department. Luckily there is a high chance that any changes officials make that end up being detrimental to the well-being of not only the countries under the EU, but globally as well, that a new official will be in shortly after them to make any necessary changes. It’s also an interesting system to be able to have new ideas and perspectives in office so frequently, it’s very different from what we see here in the United States. At least there are some of us that are able to exercise our right to protest and speak up for matters that will impact the environment and legislation affecting millions of people around the world, especially for those whose voices can’t be heard.
Great post! I loved how you familiarized the audience with EU’s governmental power rotations and policies. It was nice to go into your blog post with a sense of knowledge about an unfamiliar topic. Loved that!
I do agree with you that in a sense, it seemed as if this article has a slight bias to it. I do not think it was strong enough to sway readers, but definitely enough to get them thinking and researching. I also agree with the comment left by pelletiermr. It is a double edged sword for this switch of power, for sure. Six months doesn’t seem like a long time, however a lot can change in a short amount of time. Luckily, on the other hand, it is only six months. You get a new person in power and new perspective to, hopefully, protect the overall good.
Great post! Look forward to the next one.
Great post! I also like how you familiarized everyone with EU`s rotational policy. Great analysis at the end.