The direct costs to EU industry of implementing the Reach chemicals policy will come to around €4bn, according to an overview of impact assessments compiled by the Dutch presidency. The new estimate is almost double the European Commission's and could thus have political consequences as ministers debate the reform over the coming weeks.
The figure emerged at a three-day summit of EU member state officials in the Dutch suburb of Scheveningen this week. The presidency called the meeting to discuss an "assessment of assessments" ordered from consultancy Ecorys (EED 06/10/04).
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