Procedure : 2016/2747(RSP)
Document stages in plenary
Document selected : B8-0734/2016

Texts tabled :

B8-0734/2016

Debates :

Votes :

PV 08/06/2016 - 12.18
Explanations of votes

Texts adopted :


MOTION FOR A RESOLUTION
PDF 173kWORD 73k
1.6.2016
PE596.900v01-00
 
B8-0734/2016

to wind up the debate on the statement by the Commission

pursuant to Rule 123(2) of the Rules of Procedure


on endocrine disruptors: state of play following the Court of Justice judgment of 16 December 2015 (2016/2747(RSP))


Sylvie Goddyn on behalf of the ENF Group

European Parliament resolution on endocrine disruptors: state of play following the Court of Justice judgment of 16 December 2015 (2016/2747(RSP))  
B8‑0734/2016

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to Regulation (EU) No 528/2012 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 22 May 2012 concerning the making available on the market and use of biocidal products(1),

–  having regard to Regulation (EC) No 1935/2004 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 27 October 2004 on materials and articles intended to come into contact with food and repealing Directives 80/590/EEC and 89/109/EEC(2),

–  having regard to Regulation (EC) No 1907/2006 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 18 December 2006 concerning the Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals (REACH), establishing a European Chemicals Agency, amending Directive 1999/45/EC and repealing Council Regulation (EEC) No 793/93 and Commission Regulation (EC) No 1488/94 as well as Council Directive 76/769/EEC and Commission Directives 91/155/EEC, 93/67/EEC, 93/105/EC and 2000/21/EC(3),

–  having regard to the judgment of the General Court of the Court of Justice of the European Union of 16 December 2015 in Case T-521/14 Kingdom of Sweden v European Commission(4), in which the Kingdom of Sweden, supported by, inter alia, the European Parliament, brought proceedings against the Commission for failure to adopt delegated acts laying down specific scientific criteria for determining endocrine-disrupting properties,

–  having regard to Article 36 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU),

–  having regard to Article 168 of the TFEU,

–  having regard to Article 17(8) of the Treaty on European Union (TEU) and Article 234 of the TFEU,

–  having regard to the letter of 22 March 2016 addressed by Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker to the President of the European Parliament ((2016)1416502),

–  having regard to the Commission proposal for a new measure on bisphenol A (BPA) in food contact materials of November 2015(5),

–  having regard to the statement by the Commission of 25 May 2016 on endocrine disruptors: state of play following the Court judgment of 16 December 2015,

–  having regard to Rule 123(2) of its Rules of Procedure,

A.  whereas Regulation (EU) No 528/2012 is based on the precautionary principle and is aimed at ensuring that the manufacturing and making available on the market of active substances and biocidal products does not result in harmful effects on human or animal health or unacceptable effects on the environment;

B.  whereas, according to Regulation (EU) No 528/2012, the Commission was required to adopt, by no later than 13 December 2013, delegated acts specifying scientific criteria for the determination of endocrine-disrupting properties of active substances and biocidal products;

C.  whereas the Commission has not adopted the aforementioned delegated acts, either before or after 13 December 2013;

D.  whereas the General Court decided in its judgment of 16 December 2015 that the Commission had a clear, precise and unconditional obligation to adopt delegated acts establishing the aforementioned scientific criteria by no later than 13 December 2013;

E.  whereas the General Court rejected a specific legal argument put forward by the Commission to justify its failure to act and, in paragraph 74 of its judgment, ruled unequivocally that no provision in Regulation (EU) No 528/2012 requires an impact assessment of scientific risk-based criteria;

F.  whereas at Parliament’s plenary sitting of 2 February 2016, the Commission, represented by the Commissioner for Health and Food Safety, Vytenis Povilas Andriukaitis, announced that an impact assessment ‘acts as a useful and even essential tool to guide its future decision on the criteria’ and, moreover, that the Commission was intending to present ‘[f]irst, an implementing regulation containing the criteria which will be applied to the chemical substances falling under the Plant Protection Product Regulation and under the so-called PRAC procedure,’ and ‘[s]econd, a delegated act containing criteria applicable under the Biocidal Products Regulation’;

G.  whereas President Juncker confirmed, in his aforementioned letter of 22 March 2016 to the President of the European Parliament, the intention of the Commission to seek, first, the opinion of the Regulatory Scrutiny Board on the impact assessment, even though the General Court had stated that no provision in Regulation (EU) No 528/2012 requires an impact assessment of scientific risk-based criteria;

H.  whereas those declarations are a confirmation of a continuous, constant and repeated infringement of Regulation (EU) No 528/2012 and of the General Court’s judgment of 16 December 2015;

I.  whereas the first paragraph of Article 266 TFEU states that ‘the institution whose act has been declared void or whose failure to act has been declared contrary to the Treaties shall be required to take the necessary measures to comply with the judgment of the Court of Justice of the European Union’;

J.  whereas, therefore, such repeated non-compliance represents a clear violation of the Treaties;

K.  whereas Regulation (EC) No 1935/2004 is based on the principle that any material or article intended to come into contact directly or indirectly with food must be sufficiently inert to preclude substances from being transferred to food in quantities large enough to endanger human health or to bring about an unacceptable change in the composition of the food or a deterioration in its organoleptic properties;

L.  whereas Article 18 of Regulation (EC) No 1935/2004 provides that when, as a result of new information or a reassessment of existing information, a Member State has detailed grounds for concluding that the use of a material or article endangers human health, it can temporarily suspend or restrict the application of specific EU rules such as those for plastics; whereas, according to the same rules, the Commission is then under the obligation to decide whether these measures are necessary, where appropriate after obtaining an opinion from the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), and to take action to either adopt or decline them;

M.  whereas several Member States have introduced national bans on the use of suspected endocrine disruptors in plastic food contact materials under these safeguard measures, as well as in other materials such as coatings; whereas Denmark and Belgium have introduced national bans on the use of BPA in food contact materials for infants and young children, as has Sweden in respect of coatings and varnishes for food contact materials for infants and young children only, and France in respect of all food packaging, containers and utensils;

N.  whereas the legal obligation for the Commission to act applies to those Member States who have invoked such grounds as to use Article 18, namely France, Denmark and Belgium; whereas these Member States as well as Sweden notified their measures insofar as they are relevant for materials for which no specific harmonised measures exist at EU level as required by the ‘2015/1535 notification procedure’;

O.  whereas Regulation (EC) No 1907/2006 is based on the principle of ensuring a high level of protection of human health and the environment;

1.  Highlights the failure of the Commission to ensure a high level of protection of human health and the environment;

2.  Recalls that the Commission failed to comply with its obligation to adopt delegated acts as required by Regulation (EU) No 528/2012;

3.  Recalls that the Commission’s obligation was to specify the scientific criteria for the determination of the endocrine-disrupting properties of active substances and biocidal products, while, according to the Better Regulation Guidelines of the Commission of 19 May 2015, the role of impact assessments is to collect evidence to assess whether future legislative or non-legislative Union action is justified and how such action can best be designed to achieve desired policy objectives;

4.  Considers it unacceptable that, even after the condemnation by the General Court in its judgment of 16 December 2015, the Commission failed to propose the delegated acts laying down specific scientific criteria for determining endocrine-disrupting properties of active substances and biocidal products;

5.  Denounces as spurious and vacuous the attempts by the Commission to delay its own action, and its attempt to justify the need to adopt an impact assessment not required by the legislation, when it has already been made public that it is being influenced by industrial lobbies, the WTO and the United States of America not to publish scientific criteria for the determination of the endocrine-disrupting properties;

6.  Highlights a further infringement of the Treaties by the Commission, inasmuch as the Commission has not taken all the measures necessary to comply with the judgment of the General Court;

7.  Calls on the Commission to allow Member States to decide to ban the use and importation of products they consider to be endocrine disruptors;

8.  Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission, and the governments and parliaments of the Member States.

(1)

OJ L 167, 27.6.2012, p. 1.

(2)

OJ L 338, 13.11.2004, p. 4.

(3)

OJ L 396, 30.12.2006, p. 1.

(4)

Judgment of the General Court of 16 December 2015, Kingdom of Sweden v European Commission, Case T-521/14, ECLI:EU:T:2015:976.

(5)

http://ec.europa.eu/smart-regulation/roadmaps/docs/2015_sante_534_bpa_measure_en.pdf.

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