07 Nov 2018
EUROPEAN COMMISSION DAILY NEWS – 07 NOVEMBERBrussels Daily
COLLEGE MEETING: Endocrine disruptors: A strategy for the future
Today the Commission has adopted a Communication, confirming its commitment to protecting citizens and the environment from hazardous chemicals. The Communication outlines how the Commission intends to ensure that the EU approach on endocrine disruptors remains the most modern and fit-for-purpose in the world. The Communication delivers on the commitment taken by the Commission last year, when working with Member States on the criteria to identify endocrine disruptors in the areas of pesticides and biocides. It addresses the concerns of the European Parliament and the Council and follows up from the 7th Environment Action Programme. The EU’s strategic approach to endocrine disruptors will continue to be based firmly on science and on the application of the precautionary principle. It aims at: minimising our overall exposure to endocrine disruptors, accelerating the development of a thorough research basis for effective and forward-looking decision-making, and promoting active dialogue allowing all stakeholders to be heard and to work together. For the first time, the Commission will also launch a comprehensive screening of the legislation applicable to endocrine disruptors through a Fitness Check, which will also include a public consultation. The Communication also outlines initiatives currently considered by the Commission to ensure that the implementation of existing policies on endocrine disruptors reaches its full potential. This includes the identification of endocrine disruptors; improving communication throughout supply chains by using Safety Data Sheets as established under REACH; and taking forward the scientific assessment of endocrine disruptors with further regulatory action. The full press release and MEMO are available online.
COLLEGE MEETING: European Citizens’ Initiative: Commission registers ‘Mandatory food labelling Non-Vegetarian / Vegetarian / Vegan’ initiative’
The European Commission has today decided to register a European Citizens’ Initiative entitled ‘Mandatory food labelling Non-Vegetarian / Vegetarian / Vegan’. The initiative states that: ‘Vegetarians and vegans struggle across the EU to identify suitable food. We must study the ingredients list of a food product to determine if it is fit for purchase with a hyper-awareness of ambiguous ingredients that could either be plant or animal based’. The organisers call on the European Commission to propose mandatory pictorial labels on all food products indicating whether they are non-vegetarian, vegetarian, or vegan. The Commission’s decision to register the Initiative concerns only the legal admissibility of the proposal. The Commission has not analysed the substance at this stage. The registration of this Initiative will take place on 12 November 2018, starting a one-year process of collection of signatures of support by its organisers. Should the initiative receive one million statements of support within one year, from at least seven different Member States, the Commission will have to react within three months. More information is available in the press release here.
COLLEGE MEETING: Commission proposes fishing opportunities in the Atlantic and North Sea for 2019
Today the Commission presents its proposal ahead of the December Fisheries Council where Member States should agree next year’s fishing quotas. The European Commission proposes fishing opportunities (Total Allowable Catches) in the Atlantic and the North Sea for 89 stocks: for 62 stocks the fishing quota is either increased or remains the same, for 22 stocks is reduced and for 5 the Commission proposes new by-catch quotas at low level to reduce the fishing pressure.As the size of some key fish stocks is increasing – notably for Norway lobster in Skagerrak/Kattegat, Northern hake and Southern horse mackerel – so is the profitability of the fishing sector, with an estimated €1.4 billion profit for 2018. Karmenu Vella, Commissioner for Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, said: “Next year will be a milestone year for European fisheries. Our collective duty is to ensure a good transition to the full landing obligation as of 1st January 2019 while continuing our progress to achieve sustainable fishing by 2020. With this proposal, the Commission puts forward concrete solutions to advance on both fronts.” In order to put an end to the wasteful practice of discarding fish, as of 1st January 2019, the landing obligation will apply fully to all EU fishing fleets. This means that all catches of regulated commercial species taken on-board (including by-catch) are to be landed and counted against each Member States’ respective quotas. In today’s proposal the Commission has already deducted the amounts corresponding to the agreed exemptions to the landing obligation from the advised catches. The fishing opportunities, or Total Allowable Catches (TACs), are quotas set for most commercial fish stocks that keep the stocks healthy, while allowing the fishing industry to profit from fishing the highest amount of fish. In recent years, substantial progress can be observed in the EU with regards to sustainable fishing. 53 stocks are now fishedat Maximum Sustainable Yield (MSY) levels compared to only 5 in 2009 and 44 in 2017. A press release and MEMO are available online.
Vice-President Šefčovič in Ireland for second Energy Union Tour
As part of his second Energy Union Tour, Commission Vice-President for Energy Union Maroš Šefčovič will travel to Ireland on 8November. The Vice-President will give a keynote speech at the 2018 Climate Innovation Summit in Dublin Castle. The Summit focuses on the finance needed to accelerate climate action. The Vice-President will also meet Richard Bruton, Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment of the Republic of Ireland, their talks will focus on the Clean Energy Package and the preparations of Ireland’s 2030 national energy and climate plan. The Vice-President will also meet members of the Irish parliament, and key stakeholders. Vice-President Šefčovič said: “Ireland has invested significantly into renewables integration and interconnections. Now that economic growth is back, Ireland must make sure to decouple it from greenhouse gas emissions. Upon this visit I will be keen to discuss with Irish authorities and key stakeholders what further benefits the Energy Union can bring to Ireland, together with our unaltered support to Ireland’s climate and energy policies.”