30 April 2003 17:15 [Source: ICIS news]
LONDON (CNI)--The UK Chemical Industries Association (CIA) has backed the French wakeup call on the impact of the proposed new European Union (EU) chemicals policy.
The French chemicals industry federation UIC, other trade groups and government departments had commissioned Mercer Management Consulting to conduct a study on the impact of the white paper proposals. The study was published last week.
Commenting on the French study, CIA director general Judith Hackitt said in statement issued on Wednesday: "Here is yet another business impact study which confirms the findings of the BDI [Federation of German Industries] study in Germany. How many more studies do we need for the [European] Commission (EC) to recognise that these proposals are a real threat to industry, jobs and quality of life in the EU?"
She explained: "Although we want to see better regulation to replace what is currently in place, we believe that these findings yet again fully vindicate chemical industry concerns regarding the EC's current chemicals policy proposals and their likely impact on the whole of European manufacturing industry and the EU economy."
Hackitt added: "In spite of the so-called ‘benefits’ that the EC insists will result from its proposals, the potential for long term damage to the economy can no longer be ignored. We have yet to see a proper evaluation and assessment of these so-called benefits in an independent study."
"When we talk about the threat to competitiveness, we mean the threat to the employment of hundreds of thousands of people employed by the industry EU-wide – and the threat to the kind of innovation, which has so enhanced people's standard of living and quality of life in recent decades.”
She insisted: "Industry and the regulators must work together to find a way of getting to the benefits without decimating EU manufacturing before it is too late. We see the forthcoming Internet consultation on the proposed regulations as a key step in the process. The EC must acknowledge the messages in these independent studies."
The Commission's final white paper proposals on its Reach (registration, evaluation and authorisation of chemicals) system are to be unveiled in Brussels on 7 May. Essential features of the proposals are contained in an "orientation" paper from Enterprise and Information Commissioner Erkki Liikanen and Environment Commissioner Margot Wallstrom.
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