Procedure : 2016/2747(RSP)
Document stages in plenary
Document selected : B8-0735/2016

Texts tabled :

B8-0735/2016

Debates :

Votes :

PV 08/06/2016 - 12.18
Explanations of votes

Texts adopted :

P8_TA(2016)0270

MOTION FOR A RESOLUTION
PDF 271kWORD 76k
See also joint motion for a resolution RC-B8-0733/2016
1.6.2016
PE596.901v01-00
 
B8-0735/2016

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))


Anja Hazekamp, Kateřina Konečná, Lynn Boylan, Stefan Eck, Merja Kyllönen, Marie-Christine Vergiat, Marisa Matias, Paloma López Bermejo, Sofia Sakorafa, Maria Lidia Senra Rodríguez, Miguel Urbán Crespo, Lola Sánchez Caldentey, Tania González Peñas, Xabier Benito Ziluaga, Estefanía Torres Martínez, Ángela Vallina, Dimitrios Papadimoulis, Fabio De Masi, Marina Albiol Guzmán, Barbara Spinelli, Rina Ronja Kari on behalf of the GUE/NGL Group

European Parliament resolution on endocrine disruptors: state of play following the Court of Justice judgment of 16 December 2015 (2016/2747(RSP))  
B8‑0735/2016

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 the judgment of the Court of Justice of the European Union (Third Chamber of the General Court) of 16 December 2015 in Case T-521/14 Kingdom of Sweden v European Commission, on the action for ‘Failure to act – Specific scientific criteria for determining endocrine-disrupting properties – The failure by the Commission to adopt delegated acts – Obligation to act’,

–  having regard to Article 168 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU),

–  having regard to Articles 265 and 266 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 President Jean-Claude Juncker to the President of the European Parliament ((2016)1416502),

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

A.  whereas, according to Article 1 of Regulation (EU) No 528/2012, its purpose is to improve the functioning of the internal market through the harmonisation of the rules on the making available on the market and the use of biocidal products, whilst ensuring a high level of protection of both human and animal health and the environment;

B.  whereas the provisions of this regulation are underpinned by the precautionary principle, the aim of which is to safeguard the health of humans, the health of animals and the environment, with particular attention to vulnerable groups;

C.  whereas the process of improving the functioning of the internal market and the mutual recognition of biocidal products has advanced smoothly;

D.  whereas in order to safeguard the protection of animal and human health and the environment, under Regulation (EU) No 528/2012 the Commission should have adopted, no later than 13 December 2013, delegated acts specifying scientific criteria for the determination of endocrine-disrupting properties of active substances and biocidal products with a view to banning harmful substances;

E.  whereas as early as 28 March 2013 the Endocrine Disrupters Expert Advisory Group set up by the Commission and coordinated by the Joint Research Centre (JRC) adopted a report on the key scientific issues relevant to the identification and characterisation of endocrine-disrupting substances;

F.  whereas on 3 March 2014 the Swedish authorities invited the Commission to act, pursuant to Article 265 TFEU, to adopt the delegated acts in question;

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

H.  whereas the Court of Justice decided in its judgment of 16 December 2015 in Case T‑521/14 that the Commission had a clear, precise and unconditional obligation to adopt delegated acts in order to establish the aforementioned scientific criteria no later than 13 December 2013, independently of an impact assessment;

I.  whereas the Court of Justice clarified unequivocally in paragraph 74 of its judgment that no provision of Regulation (EU) No 528/2012 requires an impact assessment of scientific risk-based criteria, hence rejecting a specific legal argument given by the Commission to justify the delay in adopting criteria;

J.  whereas at Parliament’s plenary sitting of 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’; whereas the Commission intends 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’;

K.  whereas President Jean-Claude Juncker confirmed, in his letter of 22 March 2016 to President Martin Schulz, the Commission’s intention to seek first the opinion of the Regulatory Scrutiny Board on the impact assessment, even though the Court of Justice has stated that no provision of Regulation No 528/2012 requires an impact assessment of scientific risk-based criteria;

L.  whereas only if this impact assessment is disclosed along with the yet-to-be-presented scientific criteria can an assessment be made as to the extent to which the impact assessment has influenced the criteria;

M.  whereas these statements and the Commission’s ongoing inaction are confirmation of a continuous, constant and repeated infringement of Regulation (EU) No 528/2012 and of the Court of Justice judgment of 16 December 2015 in Case T‑521/14;

1.  Regrets the fact that the Commission has failed to comply with its obligation to adopt delegated acts as stipulated in Regulation (EU) No 528/2012;

2.  Recalls that endocrine-disrupting substances are largely responsible for neurobehavioural disorders, breast cancer, endometrial cancer, ovarian cancer, prostate cancer, testicular cancer, thyroid cancer, adverse pregnancy outcomes, genital malformations, obesity and type 2 diabetes;

3.  Recalls that the Commission was under an obligation to specify scientific criteria for the determination of endocrine-disrupting properties; points out that, according to the Better Regulation Guidelines, the role of impact assessments is to collect evidence in order to assess whether future legislative or non-legislative EU action is justified, and how such action can best be designed to achieve desired policy objectives;

4.  Considers that policy options identified by impact assessments should in no case play a role in the identification of scientific criteria concerning endocrine-disrupting properties or the impact of certain substances on health;

5.  Is deeply concerned over the leaked information obtained by the Pesticide Action Network (PAN) Europe, indicating that the adoption of the delegated act specifying scientific criteria for the determination of endocrine-disrupting properties of active substances and biocidal products has been shelved following pressure from US trade officials in the context of the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP);

6.  Considers it deplorable that the Commission neglected the Swedish authorities’ call of February 2014 for it to take action to adopt the delegated acts within two months;

7.  Reiterates that the Court of Justice has ruled that the Commission should dissociate any economic interest from its obligation to establish criteria for the determination of endocrine-disrupting properties of active substances and biocidal products;

8.  Considers it unacceptable that, even after the Court of Justice judgment of December 2015, the Commission has failed to adopt the delegated acts concerning the definition of specific criteria for the determination of endocrine-disrupting properties of active substances and biocidal products;

9.  Recalls that the Kingdom of Sweden was supported in its case against the Commission by the Kingdom of Denmark, the Kingdom of the Netherlands, the French Republic, the Republic of Finland and the European Parliament;

10.  Stresses that criteria for the determination of endocrine-disrupting properties of active substances and biocidal products should be established immediately and unconditionally, and should be based on the precautionary approach and independent scientific evidence;

11.  Stresses that the Commission’s failure to fulfil its obligations under Regulation (EU) No 528/2012, its disregard of the Court of Justice judgment of 16 December 2015 in Case T-521/14 and its consequent failure to protect public health, animal health and the environment in a precise manner are highly objectionable;

12.  Recalls that Article 83(3) of Regulation (EU) No 528/2012 provides that the delegation of power referred to in Article 5(3) may be revoked at any time by the European Parliament or by the Council; stresses that a decision to revoke puts an end to the delegation of the power specified therein;

13.  Recalls that, until harmonised criteria are in place, Member States can adopt national criteria and ban harmful substances on their own account;

14.  Stresses that the effects of a potential new legal action against the Commission will be limited, as the potential judgment could only state once again that the Commission’s inaction is unlawful;

15.  Recognises that, at the current stage, only political action taken by the European Parliament and the Member States would lead to the protection of human and animal health and the environment, as prescribed by Regulation (EU) No 528/2012;

16.  Recalls that Parliament is entitled to react effectively to the Commission’s position in the framework of the political control it exercises over the Commission pursuant to Article 14 TEU; notes that this political control could lead to a motion of censure against the Commission owing to its breach of Union legislation;

17.  Notes that this political control may include the option of revoking the delegation of power to the Commission referred to in Article 5(3) of Regulation (EU) No 528/2012 for the determination of criteria for endocrine disruptors;

18.  Encourages Member States, in the meantime, to adopt their own criteria and to take strict and necessary measures to protect human and animal health and the environment independently, since the Commission is refusing to fulfil this task;

19.  Calls on the Commission not to interfere in any measures taken at national level to protect public health, animal health and the environment; calls on the Commission, in this context, not to initiate any infringement investigation or procedure, as it did against France in respect of Bisphenol A;

20.  Declares that, in this connection, no further delays or failures to act on the part of the Commission will be accepted by the European Parliament;

21.  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.

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