MEPs retreat from chemicals crack-down

Parliament reins in radical proposals for stricter controls, enlarged scope, of future EU regime

The European parliament today rejected its environment committee's call for a radical extension to the scope of a new EU chemicals regulation framework proposed by the European Commission. Passed in a wide-ranging resolution on last year's Commission white paper on chemicals, the decision leaves MEPs in opposition to EU governments, which have already said they want a wider regime.

Today's resolution has no legislative effect but the vote was extremely hard fought as the parliament's position will influence Commission legislative proposals expected next year. It will also serve as a precedent on key points when these come back to the parliament as a draft legal text. Record levels of industry lobbying of MEPs has been reported.

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