Heard in Europe

The College of Commissioners today (25 February) adopted the executive’s 2015 work programme at their meeting in Brussels, signalling the end of the Circular Economy package of waste, incineration and recycling laws.

The package will be withdrawn and resubmitted later this year, despite protests from the European Parliament and EU environment ministers.

Although long-expected, the decision will spark criticism of what campaigners argue is a far too pro-business agenda being prosecuted by the Juncker Commission.

Especially as the Circular Economy package was on a “kill list” of pending legislation sent to the executive by trade association BusinessEurope (read our exclusive story from November last year).

The bill was targeted by Commission First Vice-President Frans Timmermans, as part of the executive’s drive for ‘better regulation’.

The College adopted a formal decision to withdraw the package and another 72 laws, according to sources. The Council and European Parliament will be informed, Heard in Europe was told.

Friends of the Earth Europe director Magda Stoczkiewicz said, “It is unacceptable that despite support for the Circular Economy package from businesses, a majority of MEPs and environment ministers, the European Commission has gone ahead and axed it.

“Changes could have been made to strengthen the Circular Economy proposal without scrapping everything and starting over – this only delays the action urgently needed.”

Danish Socialist MEP Magrete Auken said, “What a sad day for Europe. The fight for a sustainable future will be much tougher now.”

You can catch up with EurActiv’s coverage of the Circular Economy debate here.

 

Photograph courtesy of Partij van de Arbeid. Published under a Creative Commons license.

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