Wednesday

18th Sep 2019

American NGOs back Europe's chemical policy

Over sixty US pressure groups as well as 10,000 individuals have backed controversial EU proposals to make companies responsible for proving the safety of the chemicals they produce or use.

In a joint declaration of independence sent to the European Commission and to the US President George W Bush, signatories urged the US to follow "Europe's lead" and bring US policy on chemicals "into the 21st century".

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Support quality EU news

Get instant access to all articles — and 18 year's of archives. 30 days free trial.

... or join as a group

At the beginning of May the Commission unveiled a radical reworking of the Union's chemicals policy proposing the introduction of an integrated system of registration, evaluation, and authorisation with companies, rather than public agencies, having to prove the safety of chemicals used, produced or exported.

Only 3% of chemicals produced in the EU each year are well known according to the Environment Commissioner, Margot Wallström.

Washington has backed US exporters in their vehement opposition to the so-called REACH proposal. Firms such as Exxon Mobil, Bayer and Basf claim that registration and testing programmes alone would cost US companies 400 million US dollars.

US environmental groups, Trade Unions and health NGOs have applauded the Commission's proposal as one that supports "healthier families, safer jobs, and cleaner communities".

The Commissions eight week period of public consultation comes to an end on 10 July when it will begin to finalise its proposal.

Unpopular legislation gets tested

France, the UK and Germany are trying to amend proposed laws which the chemical industry says could cost it millions of euro each year and which was set to lead to a transatlantic row.

Analysis

How should the EU handle Russia now?

Should West help Russian opposition in its struggle against the regime, or make new deals with Putin, as France is keen to do?

Central European leaders demand Balkan EU accession

Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, and Slovakia have demanded to open accession talks with North Macedonia and Albania this year, as Hungary's man prepares to take over the enlargement portfolio.

Just 5% of Europeans trust Trump

European voters believe that EU's foreign policies should be more coherent and effective in order to remain neutral in potential international conflicts, since most EU citizens no longer rely on the US security guarantee, according to a new report.

Column

These are the crunch issues for the 2019-2024 EU commission

These developments will largely determine who will be running the world in the coming decades and perhaps generations. If the Europeans can't find an answer over the five years, they will be toast. And we haven't even mentioned climate change.

Opinion

Time to pay attention to Belarus

Belarus may be hosting the European Games, but Vladimir Putin is not playing games when it comes to Belarus' independence. The West needs to get serious as well.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Nordic Council of MinistersNew programme studies infectious diseases and antibiotic resistance
  2. UNESDAUNESDA reduces added sugars 11.9% between 2015-2017
  3. International Partnership for Human RightsEU-Uzbekistan Human Rights Dialogue: EU to raise key fundamental rights issues
  4. Nordic Council of MinistersNo evidence that social media are harmful to young people
  5. Nordic Council of MinistersCanada to host the joint Nordic cultural initiative 2021
  6. Vote for the EU Sutainable Energy AwardsCast your vote for your favourite EUSEW Award finalist. You choose the winner of 2019 Citizen’s Award.
  7. Nordic Council of MinistersEducation gets refugees into work
  8. Counter BalanceSign the petition to help reform the EU’s Bank
  9. UNICEFChild rights organisations encourage candidates for EU elections to become Child Rights Champions
  10. UNESDAUNESDA Outlines 2019-2024 Aspirations: Sustainability, Responsibility, Competitiveness
  11. Counter BalanceRecord citizens’ input to EU bank’s consultation calls on EIB to abandon fossil fuels
  12. International Partnership for Human RightsAnnual EU-Turkmenistan Human Rights Dialogue takes place in Ashgabat

Latest News

  1. Revanchist Russia continues to rewrite European history
  2. How EU trains discriminate against the disabled
  3. These are the crunch issues for the 2019-2024 EU commission
  4. Defending the 'European way of life' name splits MEPs
  5. Hungary claims EU 'witch-hunt' over rule of law hearing
  6. Trumpworld In Europe
  7. How EU firms and banks help fund Amazon fires
  8. Amazon fires mean EP must rethink Mercosur trade deal

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us