Euro-MPs voted on 2 February 2016 to urge member states not to allow any new hydraulic fracturing operations, and although the vote is not legally binding, nonetheless opponents of fracking described it as a significant victory for the anti-fracking movement in Europe.
Antoine Simon, a campaigner for the Economic Justice Programme, said:
“This is the very first time that the European Parliament has made officially such a strong statement against fracking.” “It was an opinion report without any legally binding authority and it only targets new projects but it is still a very symbolic victory.”
The text was submitted to the plenary assembly of the European Parliament on Tuesday (2nd February 2016) by Keith Taylor (Green, South East England) and the Danish MEP Margrete Auken. It was part of discussions on a review of the EU biodiversity strategy.
It urged member states:
"On the basis of the precautionary principle and the principle that preventive action should be taken, and taking into account the risks and the negative climate, environmental and biodiversity impacts involved in hydraulic fracturing for the extraction of unconventional hydrocarbons, and the gaps identified in the EU regulatory regime for shale gas activities – not to authorise any new hydraulic fracturing operations in the EU”
How did Portugal's MEPs vote?