Low-key EU environment ministerial in view

Council set to reach provisional deals on revised packaging, major accident hazards laws

Environment ministers from around the EU assemble in Luxembourg on Tuesday for their second and final council under the Spanish presidency of the bloc. Several new faces should make their first appearance following elections in France, the Netherlands and Ireland, and the resignation of Finland's Satu Hassi.

Spain's term in the chair has been dominated by the international issues of climate change and preparations for the Johannesburg sustainability summit. The presidency's efforts to secure formal ministerial agreements on more parochial matters - notably revisions to directives on packaging and major accident hazards - have been frustrated as the European parliament, co-legislator on the dossiers, has yet to deliver its opinion on either. An informal council accord on both is likely, however.

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