13 October 2005 18:18 [Source: ICIS news]
FRANKFURT (ICIS news)--The European Union (EU) is close to finding a solution for a practicable Reach (its proposed new chemicals policy) that will satisfy all sides, industry commissioner Günter Verheugen, said on Thursday.?xml:namespace>
"Perhaps some environmental associations will not be pleased, but it is necessary to make compromises," Verheugen said in a speech to the general assembly of Germany's chemicals union IG BCE.
The commissioner took up a theme struck by union chairman Hubertus Schmoldt in an earlier speech to delegates.
Addressing the congress, Schmoldt – who was re-elected on Tuesday by a vote of 97% – called for a "practicable and cost-efficient" Reach, as well as additional emissions trading certificates for the chemical industry, to reflect its growth needs.
Both Schmoldt and Verheugen also addressed several other pan-European topics of concern to the chemical industry and its employees.
The union leader called for "minimum standards" for corporate taxes in the EU, which he said would limit countries’ ability to lower tax ratios to attract more business. This, he said, leads to "wage dumping". He also appealed to the new German government to lower ancillary wage costs to prevent jobs being moved eastward.
"No one in Europe should be interested in seeing wages and social standards decline," Verheugen said, in reference to wage dumping.
Schmoldt also called for solidarity among EU works councils and for the creation of "networks such as those that exist among major chemical companies".
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