The EU has always had a pretty good relationship with nature, even if animals are becoming extinct in some places. It acts differently in certain situations and tries to preserve a “green Europe” for the benefit of us all.

Introducing nanotechnology in food in Europe, the European Union set up its first nanotechnology laboratories in the year 2000. With them, it created (and continues to create) nanofood that can also harm us. Nanofood is food that has only been packaged using nanoparticles or that has been completely processed. One of the more dangerous particles is nanosilver, which is used to make products last longer but is very harmful to us.

Of course, all the food produced by a company must also be labeled. There are rules on labeling, and the rules say that the mandatory information on the product is: the name of the product, a list of ingredients and quantities, allergens, the date of labeling, and others. However, in the year 2014, an investigation found that many food manufacturers were inadequately or incorrectly labeling allergens in food. So, instead of specifying the gluten-containing rye, they simply wrote that the dish consisted of ”gluten-containing rye”.

In 2008, the European Parliament adopted a resolution on wilderness in Europe, which talks about the importance of the areas in Europe where wilderness still exists, and also about introducing more species to these areas. It also called for definitions of wilderness and wilderness areas to be created, for wilderness areas to be identified, and for the values of wilderness to be promoted.

Unfortunately, in the last few years, we have seen how many animals have already become extinct or are becoming extinct. Humans are at fault for this, as well as our activities, e.g. pollution, land use change, and climate change. The disappearance of so many animals is changing the biodiversity of living things. Since 1931, we have celebrated World Animal Day on 4 October. In 2021, around 40 000 species of animals were listed as endangered. Of these, more than half are mammals, and lynx have disappeared from Slovenia, but efforts have been underway for years to establish a new population.

In addition to animals, many plant species are also threatened. These are quickly becoming endangered, as they are most threatened by the construction of new buildings, roads, deforestation, and invasive plants. In Slovenia, the planika became the first protected plant on Slovenian soil in 1896, followed by others.

Since 2018, we have been celebrating World Bee Day, initiated by Slovenia. In the same year, Parliament adopted measures to protect bees due to their declining numbers. Europe produces 250 000 tons of honey a year and is the second largest honey producer in the world.

Since 2015, cloning has been strictly banned in Europe and the use of animals for research purposes is restricted. The first known case of cloning in Europe was Dolly the Sheep in 1996 at the Roslin Institute in Scotland. In 2007, hens were also created there, laying eggs with proteins needed to fight cancer.

The European Union has a big goal. It wants to achieve climate neutrality by 2050 and Member States are called upon to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by at least 55% by 2030. In 1992, the European Ecolabel was created. It is a label of environmental excellence and promotes a circular economy. There are 110 certificates awarded in Slovenia, 17,139 in Spain, and only one in Luxembourg.

Negotiations on the problem of transit traffic and the pollution it causes have been ongoing at the European Union level for a very long time. This led to the adoption in 1993 of a directive providing for the voluntary levying of tolls on all goods vehicles. In the Alps, however, there is already a policy of diverting traffic to rail, because they want to establish climate neutrality.

The disappearance of so many species and habitats is a really big problem. The whole world is facing a climate crisis and it is only going to get worse because some people are not acting in their favor. The European Union is trying, through agreements and rules, to fix this climate crisis and everything it is doing aims to achieve climate neutrality by 2050. However, this will not be possible if we do not make the effort to look after our world, because we only have one world, and it is very slowly collapsing. If we all do our bit and at least take care of our own environment, that’s the only way we can make a difference.

Written by: Vanesa Ošlak