13 December 2005 18:28 [Source: ICIS news]
BRUSSELS (ICIS news)--A European member of parliament (MEP) warned on Tuesday that authorisation compromises agreed on Reach by European Union (EU) ministers will meet opposition in parliament in 2006.
"The compromise put up by the British presidency is quite far removed from the principle adopted by the parliament," Liberal Democrat MEP Chris Davies said.
Davies said he was concerned that the new agreement dilutes the principle of substitution – chemicals that are of high concern should be taken off the market if safer alternatives exist.
“Every politician knows that they can defend this principle to their constituents,” Davies said.
“If the Parliament is going to try to arrange a compromise with the ministers to avoid the lengthy time of a conciliation process, then the Council will have to compromise further,” he added.
The text agreed earlier on Tuesday takes into account objections to the parliament’s proposal that products should be granted five-year authorisation terms. Instead, ministers came up with an alternative position that allows authorisations to be reassessed under special circumstances.
A Commission spokesperson said that EU ministers agreed that authorisations can be reviewed under two conditions. First, if the circumstances of the authorisation change to affect the risk to human health, the environment or the socio-economic impact. Second, if new information on possible substitutes becomes available.
The French government has said that it supports the proposals providing that no further changes are made to the legislation.
“They would lift their reservations if the EU presidency’s proposals are not going to be weakened,” the spokesperson said.
The comprise package also recognises France’s position that the proposed new chemicals agency should have greater power.
Calls on Tuesday for the Reach proposals to have greater impact on other market sectors were unsuccessful.
Ireland, Poland and Lithuania, for instance, wanted the legislation extended to the semiconductor industry.
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