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Work Programme 2015: Circular Economy package to be dropped and re-drafted despite opposition from Ministers, NGOs and some of the business community

In launching the new European Commission work programme in Strasbourg on 16th December, First Vice President Franz Timmermans confirmed that the Commission is to ditch the Circular Economy package as part of the 80 proposals to be dropped.  Instead, he told MEPs in Strasbourg, the European Commission will replace it with a “more ambitious” legislation in 2015, and change pending air-pollution rules. Timmermans was presenting the European Commission’s 2015 work programme at the European Parliament in Strasbourg. Among the bills facing the axe was the Circular Economy package. One MEP shouted “shame” at Timmermans when he confirmed it would be scrapped. Timmermans reacted by saying the new proposal would come in 2015.  “We will do this very quickly because we want the Circular Economy and we want to put something on the table that is more ambitious.”  “We want to make sure the Circular Economy is approached in a circular way and not just half a way,” he added.  The Circular Economy package was intended to increase recycling levels and tighten rules on incineration and landfill. It consists of six bills on waste, packaging, landfill, end of life vehicles, batteries and accumulators, and waste electronic equipment. The new proposal would focus not just on waste, but also the creation and development of new business opportunities in green growth and green technologies. Meeting on the 17th December, EU environment ministers were unanimous in agreeing that the circular economy package should not be ditched. So too has the World Business Council on Sustainable Development and a wide range of NGOs that have joined together in an open letter to respond to President Juncker following the recent “kill list” if proposed environment legislation with a bureaucratic burden on business sent by Business Europe (see page 6) – READ MORE / FULL VIDEO OVERVIEW OF ENNVIRONMENT COUNCIL

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Issue 38