On 25 April 2012 the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety Committee (ENVI) of the European Parliament adopted MEP Gerben-Jan Gerbrandy’s (Group of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe, the Netherlands) draft report on a resource-efficient Europe.
In CEMBUREAU’s view, the proposed “Schengen area” concept for waste is not acceptable for hazardous waste given that traceability is key from a waste management perspective. Regarding the end-of-waste criteria, the Association also stresses that easing the provisions of the current waste legislation could only be considered for specific non-hazardous streams under strict criteria. Therefore, the waste status of a given waste stream should remain unchanged before and during the recovery operation. In addition, CEMBUREAU believes that the movement of waste across borders cannot be restricted when such waste is destined for recovery. On the issue of taxation, the Association notes that a tax on resource use would create further market distortion and price volatility. Tax neutrality is difficult to envisage from a European perspective, as whilst the EU may be able to agree new taxes by unanimity amongst Member States, it is highly unlikely that the EU could impose corresponding tax reductions (subsidiarity).
It was expected by CEMBUREAU and many other stakeholders that the report should remain product neutral. CEMBUREAU was therefore opposed to an amendment encouraging the use of wood. That amendment, however, was accepted in ENVI thus breaking a much needed neutrality.
The vote in Plenary is expected on 23 May 2012 where it is hoped that neutrality will be restored.
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