Regulation on Mercury Aligning EU legislation with the Minamata Convention: Initial Appraisal of a European Commission Impact Assessment

14-04-2016

This note provides an initial analysis of the strengths and weaknesses of the European Commission's Impact Assessment (IA) accompanying the above proposal which was adopted on 2 February 2016 and has been referred to Parliament's Committee on Environment, Public Health and Food Safety. The IA clearly identifies and defines the problems, demonstrating that EU action is necessary to address them, within the existing regulatory framework. The analysis emphasises that in this case EU action is further justified by the external competence of the EU and its legal right to act in the context of an international agreement. The analysis of options mainly focuses on the alternatives within the 'ratification' scenario, whereas less prominence is given to the assessment of impacts under the hypothesis of 'non EU action', which is an option clearly ruled out from the outset. Stakeholders have been consulted on two main occasions (workshop and public consultation) and the IA reports extensively on the results of that consultation process. However, most of the preferred options identified in the IA – and which feature in the Commission's legislative proposal - differ from the opinion expressed by the relative majority of stakeholders who responded to the questionnaire used for the public consultation.

This note provides an initial analysis of the strengths and weaknesses of the European Commission's Impact Assessment (IA) accompanying the above proposal which was adopted on 2 February 2016 and has been referred to Parliament's Committee on Environment, Public Health and Food Safety. The IA clearly identifies and defines the problems, demonstrating that EU action is necessary to address them, within the existing regulatory framework. The analysis emphasises that in this case EU action is further justified by the external competence of the EU and its legal right to act in the context of an international agreement. The analysis of options mainly focuses on the alternatives within the 'ratification' scenario, whereas less prominence is given to the assessment of impacts under the hypothesis of 'non EU action', which is an option clearly ruled out from the outset. Stakeholders have been consulted on two main occasions (workshop and public consultation) and the IA reports extensively on the results of that consultation process. However, most of the preferred options identified in the IA – and which feature in the Commission's legislative proposal - differ from the opinion expressed by the relative majority of stakeholders who responded to the questionnaire used for the public consultation.