"I would like to send my best wishes to the Ecological Institute's Brussels Office on the occasion of the opening ceremony for the celebration of its 10th anniversary and take the opportunity to congratulate the Ecological Institute and its staff for the excellent work and commitment to the development of environmental policy.
In these times of economic austerity and financial turmoil, when the environment risks to be placed at the bottom of the political agendas, the work of think tanks like the Ecological Institute becomes ever more important. The main challenge we are faced with today is to ensure that economic, social and environmental policies evolve together.
The economic crisis has confirmed that we need to make structural changes in our economies and in the way we operate. In doing this we need to transform, not just improve our economies. We need to start living within the limits of our means. In searching for solutions we must move away from existing economic structures. We need to secure a sustainable future - economic, social and environmental. We need to look beyond tomorrow and fundamentally change the way we produce and consume today.
Part of this structural change is managing the transition to a resource-efficient economy. Europe needs to react to the massive increase in resource use that we are already seeing. The quality and availability of natural resources will be one of the key to determining growth prospects in the future. With scarce or no natural resources there will be no growth. Environmental, social and economic polices are deeply interlinked. This is why we need to focus our efforts on creating a smart, sustainable and inclusive economy. This is clearly reflected in the European Union's growth strategy, Europe 2020. Our job will be to steer the policy in the right direction. This will require changes in the way we organise our economies, at EU and national levels. It will require a fundamental change of the very foundations of the system in which we operate and the involvement of all actors.
So, we still have a lot of work ahead of us. Many questions still remain open and we do not pretend to have all of the solutions yet. This is where your knowledge and expertise will be precious in supporting the evolution of environmental policy."
Janez Potočnik, European Commissioner for the Environment
"Since 2001 the Ecologic Institute is active in Brussels - a very interesting and busy time for stakeholders in the environmental and sustainability field. It was a good decision to come to the European Capital as about 80 per cent of environment legislation is initiated by the European Union.
Following the agenda of the European Union, the Ecologic Institute has provided valuable input on a variety of topics such as water, resource use, renewable energy, biodiversity or beyond GDP. Established as a trustworthy and independent research institute, their contributions enriched the debate and policy-making progress in Brussels.
On this occasion I want to thank the team of the Ecologic Institute for all the engagement and effort in doing profound research on environmental topics. With the challenge ahead to become a resource efficient, low-carbon, greener and sustainable economy, there is still a lot of work to be done.
I am looking forward to further cooperation and I wish you all success for the next 10 and more years."
Jo Leinen, Chairman of the Committee on Environment, Public Health and Food Security