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EU lawmakers reach agreement on 7EAP text

As reported in recent Newsflash’s, the EU’s seventh environment action programme (7EAP) the Eus legislative environmental plan for the period up to 2020 has been on the table between European Parliament and the Council of Ministers. In the last week of the Irish Presidency, a deal was secured on a shared text that allows the 7th EAP to set out priority objectives for EU environment policy in a range of areas including waste management, chemicals and biodiversity up to 2020. The legislators strengthened the European Commission’s initial text regarding actions on chemicals with the development of harmonised hazard-based criteria for the identification of endocrine disrupters. Regarding waste policy, the agreement backs the goal of moving towards a circular economy and added the term lifecycle-driven to waste policy in future. It specifies that the objective of phasing out landfilling should apply to recyclable and recoverable waste. It also cites extended producer responsibility as one of the measures to achieve resource efficiency in addition to market-based instruments. The new text calls for binding criteria for environmental inspections to a larger number of legislative areas, and calls for greater support and sharing of best practice. The final text says environmental considerations including water protection and biodiversity conservation should be integrated into planning decisions and the goal of no net land loss by 2050 is clearly stated. Importantly, the door is kept open to the possibility of the Commission bringing forward a legally binding framework on soil protection something that has eluded legislators in Brussels to date due to differences in opinion between the Member States.. However, targets on sustainable land use and soil that the Commission wanted to establish are only referred to as a possibility. READ MORE

Issue 25