Virginijus Sinkevičius

Environment, Oceans and Fisheries


Included in Apolitical’s list of the 100 World’s Most Influential Young People in Government (2018), Virginijus Sinkevičius is the youngest Commissioner, rising up through the Lithuanian government. He held a number of ministerial positions in the Lithuanian Seimas, including Chair of the Committee on Economics, Minister of Economy and Minister of the Economy and Innovation. Focused on the environment – crucially on presenting a new Biodiversity Strategy for 2030 and on delivering the Commission’s zero-pollution pledge – Sinkevičius is confident in the European Green Deal, describing it as “a clean, climate-neutral, regenerative and more resilient economic model”. His confidence and urgency in addressing the so-called “environmental crisis” are persuasive – but he has been criticised for opposing the extension of the EU Aarhus Regulation, which would allow citizens to challenge European Union decisions suspected of breaking environmental rules (he cited an unsustainable workload for the civil servants involved). He also came under fire for failing to prevent the shock killing of thousands of dolphins in the Bay of Biscay in 2019.