Since March 20th, close to 21,000 indignant French citizens have sent the President of the French Republic an e-mail asking him to support a ban on deep-sea bottom trawling in Europe. The public action orchestrated by BLOOM calls on François Hollande to live up to the commitments he made at Rio+20 in 2012 to “eliminate destructive fishing practices.”
Hollande’s government held an “Environmental Conference” in September 2013 during which it agreed that the views of environmental NGOs and citizens would be taken into account in forming the French position on the deep-sea regulation. But the position that France sent on March 12th to the Presidency of the European Council of Ministers takes no account of NGOs’ policy asks nor of the will of more than 838,000 signatories to BLOOM’s petition and 73% of French people surveyed. On the contrary, France continues to oppose the European Commission’s proposal to ban deep-sea bottom trawling in Europe!
“French people feel betrayed” explains Claire Nouvian, founder of BLOOM. “They realize there is no such thing as ‘democratic consultation’ in France. In fact, politics are done in the old-style: opaque and without taking citizens into account. Since France seems more like a monarchy, without checks and balances, we call on the Head of State to personally arbitrate on the issue of prohibiting deep-sea bottom trawling. François Hollande promised the French ‘environmental excellence’, he needs to be true to his word.”