Procedure : 2008/0152(COD)
Document stages in plenary
Document selected : A6-0105/2009

Texts tabled :

A6-0105/2009

Debates :

PV 02/04/2009 - 6
CRE 02/04/2009 - 6

Votes :

PV 02/04/2009 - 9.14
CRE 02/04/2009 - 9.14
Explanations of votes
Explanations of votes

Texts adopted :

P6_TA(2009)0209

REPORT     ***I
PDF 316kWORD 705k
25.2.2009
PE 418.115v02-00 A6-0105/2009

on the proposal for a regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on a Community Ecolabel scheme

(COM(2008)0401 – C6‑0279/2008 – 2008/0152(COD))

Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety

Rapporteur: Salvatore Tatarella

DRAFT EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT LEGISLATIVE RESOLUTION
 EXPLANATORY STATEMENT
 OPINION of the Committee on Industry, Research and Energy
 OPINION of the Committee on the Internal Market and Consumer Protection
 PROCEDURE

DRAFT EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT LEGISLATIVE RESOLUTION

on the proposal for a regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on a Community Ecolabel scheme

(COM(2008)0401 – C6‑0279/2008 – 2008/0152(COD))

(Codecision procedure: first reading)

The European Parliament,

–   having regard to the Commission proposal to the European Parliament and the Council (COM(2008)0401),

–   having regard to Article 251(2) and Article 175(1) of the EC Treaty, pursuant to which the Commission submitted the proposal to Parliament (C6‑0279/2008),

–   having regard to Rule 51 of its Rules of Procedure,

–   having regard to the report of the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety and the opinions of the Committee on Industry, Research and Energy and the Committee on the Internal Market and Consumer Protection (A6‑0105/2009),

1.  Approves the Commission proposal as amended;

2.  Calls on the Commission to refer the matter to Parliament again if it intends to amend the proposal substantially or replace it with another text;

3.  Instructs its President to forward its position to the Council and Commission.

Amendment  1

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 4

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(4) The Community Ecolabel scheme is part of the sustainable consumption and production policy of the Community, which aims at reducing the negative impact of consumption and production on the environment, health, and natural resources. The scheme is intended to promote those products which have a high level of environmental performance through the use of the Ecolabel. To this effect, it is appropriate to require that the criteria which products must comply with in order to bear the Ecolabel be based on the best environmental performance achieved by products on the Community market. Those criteria should be simple to understand and to use and should therefore be limited to the most significant environmental impacts of products.

(4) The Community Ecolabel scheme is part of the sustainable consumption and production policy of the Community, which aims at reducing the negative impact of consumption and production on the environment, health, climate and natural resources. The scheme is intended to promote those products which have a high level of environmental performance through the use of the Ecolabel. To this effect, it is appropriate to require that the criteria which products must comply with in order to bear the Ecolabel be based on the best environmental performance achieved by products on the Community market. Those criteria should be simple to understand and to use, and should be based on scientific evidence, taking into consideration the latest technological developments. Those criteria should be market-oriented and limited to the most significant environmental impacts of products during their full lifecycle, including the phases of both manufacturing and use.

Justification

Preventing negative effects on the climate is an integral part of the Eco-label scheme.

Cefic stresses the need to have a sound scientific basis for eco-label criteria. Moreover, Cefic supports eco-label criteria that are in line with the principles of sustainable development covering economic, environmental and social aspects, and cover the full life cycle of products.

The full life cycle of the products needs to be taken into account when setting the Ecolabel criteria.

Amendment  2

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 4 a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

(4a) For the acceptance by the general public of the Community Ecolabel award scheme, it is essential that environmental non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and consumer organisations play an important role and are actively involved in the development and setting of criteria for Community Ecolabels.

Justification

Reinstatement of Recital 5 of the current regulation.

Amendment  3

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 6

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(6) In order to simplify the Community Ecolabel scheme and to reduce the administrative burden linked to the use of the Ecolabel, the assessment and verification procedures should be replaced by a registration system.

(6) In order to simplify the Community Ecolabel and to reduce the administrative burden linked to the use of Ecolabel, a harmonised registration system, which should be applied across the Member States and competent bodies, should be introduced. Registration will be granted after the verification that the product meets the criteria for the specific category of products.

Justification

The substitution of the former system into a registration procedure should not reduce the effectiveness of ex ante controls.

To avoid a fragmentation of the internal market, the registration systems must be harmonised across all the member states.

It is important that the registration system is complementary to the assessment and verification procedures, in order not to sacrifice the credibility of the scheme for the sake of flexibility.

Amendment  4

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 7

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(7) In order to increase the use of the Ecolabel and in order not to penalise those whose products meet the Ecolabel criteria, the costs of using the Ecolabel should be reduced.

deleted

Justification

The registration fee of €200 will not cover the administrative costs for the procedure. As an effect Member states will have to subsidize this procedure, an obstacle for the success of the EU flower and its proliferation throughout the internal market.

Amendment  5

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 7 a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

(7a) In order to increase the use of the Community Ecolabel scheme in future revisions of this Regulation, there will be a need for a definite shift from the 10 % best performing products criteria to the introduction of a gradation system in each product category to help consumers to make sustainable consumption choices and to create incentives to manufacturers constantly to improve their offer.

Justification

For the real spread of the use of the Community Ecolabel the" system of the 10% best" is considered not being enough effective. Every product from all the product groups should have the possibility to apply for the label and have it on the product and according to a grading system, grade 'A' or 'B' or 'C' would indicate its environmental performance.

Amendment  6

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 8

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(8) In light of the simplified procedures for use of the Ecolabel, it is appropriate to provide for the conditions under which the Ecolabel may be used and, in order to ensure compliance with those conditions, to require competent bodies to undertake verifications and to prohibit the use of the Ecolabel where the conditions for use have not been complied with. It is also appropriate to require Member States to lay down the rules on penalties applicable to infringements of this Regulation and to ensure that they are implemented.

(8) In light of the simplified procedures for use of the Ecolabel, it is appropriate to provide for the conditions under which the Ecolabel may be used and, in order to ensure compliance with those conditions, to require competent bodies to undertake verifications and to prohibit the use of the Ecolabel where the conditions for use have not been complied with. It is also appropriate to require Member States to lay down the rules on penalties applicable to infringements of this Regulation and to ensure that they are implemented. To this end, Member States should ensure the provision to the competent bodies of all necessary financial means and human resources.

Justification

The proper functioning of the competent bodies is highly dependent on the available resources provided to them by Member States.

Amendment  7

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 9

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(9) It is necessary to raise public awareness of the Community Ecolabel through promotion actions in order to make consumers aware of the meaning of the label and to enable them to make informed choices.

(9) It is necessary to inform the public and raise public awareness of the Community Ecolabel through promotion actions, information and education campaigns, at local, national and Community level, in order to make consumers aware of the meaning of the label and to enable them to make informed choices. It is also necessary in order to make the scheme more attractive to producers and retailers. The revenue raised by any fees for an application for registration charged under this Regulation should be used primarily for marketing purposes.

Justification

Increasing consumer awareness and making the Eco-label scheme more attractive to producers is crucial for the success of the Eco-label.

Information and education campaigns are important means of communication to make consumers more familiar with the Ecolabel in the immediate future.

It is clear that one of the major shortcomings of the current scheme is the lack of consumer awareness due to poor marketing. It is, therefore, important to devote a considerable amount of financial resources to this purpose. It is necessary to inform the public and raise public awareness of the Community Ecolabel through promotion actions, in order to make consumers aware of the meaning of the label and to enable them to make informed choices.

Amendment  8

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 9 a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

(9a) The Commission and Member States should ensure that the necessary funds are committed to awareness-raising campaigns and the promotion of the Ecolabel.

Justification

EU and MS should sustain the promotion of Ecolabel.

Amendment  9

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 9 a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

(9a) The Community Ecolabel scheme should take into account existing Community legislation so as to avoid divergent approaches and increasing administrative burdens on undertakings. Therefore, synergies between different product-related policy instruments should be enhanced so as to ensure a harmonised framework in which criteria are developed.

Justification

Since the Ecolabel constitutes only a component of the Action Plan for Sustainable Production and Consumption, it is of high importance to ensure synergies with the other actions of the Plan.

Amendment  10

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 9 b (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

(9b) As small businesses often have more difficulty assimilating new regulations and standards, the information offices to be set up under the forthcoming Small Business Act should also be assigned the task of providing information about the Ecolabel scheme.

Justification

It is important to establish links between the Ecolabel scheme and the Small Business Act in order to facilitate matters for SMEs.

Amendment  11

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 9 c (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

(9c) As different ecolabelling schemes always entail additional work, particularly for small businesses, the Commission should be instructed actively to promote the approximation of different labelling schemes.

Justification

It is very important to take account of SMEs' administrative burdens and, accordingly, endeavour to reduce them as much as possible.

Amendment  12

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 10

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(10) In order to facilitate the marketing of products bearing environmental labels at national and Community level and to avoid confusing consumers, it is also necessary to enhance the coherence between the Community Ecolabel scheme and national Ecolabel schemes in the Community.

(10) In order to facilitate the marketing of products bearing environmental labels at national and Community level and to avoid confusing consumers, it is also necessary to enhance the coherence between the Community Ecolabel scheme and national Ecolabel schemes in the Community, and to create an official EU internet site gathering together all EU ecolabelling information and practices for the information of consumers and available in all official languages of the Community. The co-existence of these schemes should lead to a "win-win" situation for both labels by means of exchange of best practices. Moreover, the Community Ecolabel scheme should promote the ecolabelled products in the national markets and should facilitate the entering of ecolabelled products into the markets of other Member States.

Amendment  13

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 13

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(13) In particular, the Commission should be empowered to adopt the criteria that products must comply with in order to bear the Ecolabel and to amend the Annexes to this Regulation. Since those measures are of general scope and are designed to amend nonessential elements of this Regulation, inter alia by supplementing it with new nonessential elements, they must be adopted in accordance with the regulatory procedure with scrutiny provided for in Article 5a of Decision 1999/468/EC.

(13) In particular, the Commission should be empowered to adopt the criteria that products must comply with in order to bear the Ecolabel and to amend the Annexes to this Regulation, provided that such criteria fully respect the basis for their adoption as laid down in this Regulation. Since those measures are of general scope and are designed to amend nonessential elements of this Regulation, inter alia by supplementing it with new nonessential elements, they must be adopted in accordance with the regulatory procedure with scrutiny provided for in Article 5a of Decision 1999/468/EC.

Justification

The process of adopting and revising ecolabel criteria should respects the original aims of the Regulation, specifically to provide consumers with accurate, non-deceptive and scientifically-based information on the environmental impact of products during their entire life cycle.

Amendment  14

Proposal for a regulation

Article 2 – paragraph 2

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

Concerning food products as defined in Article 2 of Regulation (EC) No 178/2002 of the European Parliament and of the Council, it shall only apply to processed food and to the products of fishing and aquaculture.

This Regulation shall apply to food and drink as defined in Article 2 of Regulation (EC ) No178/2002 if a study conducted by the Commission, by 31 December 2011 at the latest, taking into account the opinion expressed on the subject by the EUEB, demonstrates that it is possible for food, or only for some specific categories of food, to establish reliable criteria covering the environmental performance during the whole life cycle of the products, with particular attention to the feasibility and the impact of Ecolabel criteria on food falling within the scope of Regulation (EC) No 834/2007 as well as on products of fishing and aquaculture.

 

In such cases criteria shall be developed in accordance with the procedure contained in Annex 1(A)(2a).

 

 

Justification

There is a need for further studies on the feasibility of environmental criteria for food.

Amendment  15

Proposal for a regulation

Article 2 – paragraph 2 a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

2a. In conformity with the precautionary principle the Ecolabel may not be awarded to products containing substances, preparations or mixtures classified as very toxic, toxic, dangerous to the environment, carcinogenic, mutagenic or toxic for reproduction (CMR), in accordance with Directive 67/548/EEC, Directive 1999/45/EC, or Regulation (EC) No. 1272/2008, nor to substances referred to in Article 57 of Regulation (EC) No 1907/2006 (REACH).

 

For specific categories of goods, for which there are no equivalent alternatives without such substances or preparations, and which otherwise have a significantly higher overall environmental performance compared with other goods of the same category, the Commission may adopt measures to grant derogations from the first subparagraph.

 

Those measures, designed to amend non-essential elements of this Regulation, shall be adopted in accordance with the regulatory procedure with scrutiny referred to in Article 16(2).

Justification

The prohibition of substances of very high concern unless for specific categories for which derogations are granted.

Amendment  16

Proposal for a regulation

Article 2 – paragraph 2 b (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

This Regulation shall not apply to the medicinal products for human use defined in Directive 2001/83/EC of the European Parliament and the Council of 6 November 2001 on the Community Code relating to Medicinal Products for Human Use.

Justification

Because of their special nature, pharmaceutical products must remain excluded from the scope of this regulation.

Amendment  17

Proposal for a regulation

Article 4 – paragraph 1

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

1. Each Member State shall designate the body or bodies responsible for carrying out the tasks provided for in this Regulation (hereinafter referred to as "the competent body" or "the competent bodies") and ensure that they are operational. Where more than one competent body is designated, the Member State shall determine those bodies' respective powers and the coordination requirements applicable to them.

1. Each Member State shall designate the body or bodies responsible for carrying out the tasks provided for in this Regulation (hereinafter referred to as "the competent body" or "the competent bodies") and ensure that they are operational, providing them with all the necessary financial means and human resources. Where more than one competent body is designated, the Member State shall determine those bodies' respective powers and the coordination requirements applicable to them.

Justification

The proper functioning of the competent bodies is highly dependent on the available resources provided to them by Member States.

Amendment  18

Proposal for a regulation

Article 4 – paragraph 2 a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

2a. Competent bodies shall carry out the verification process in a consistent and reliable manner, in accordance with standards of EN 45000 series or equivalent international standards.

Justification

This is in order to ensure high quality of verification procedures, in accordance with EU and international standards.

Amendment  19

Proposal for a regulation

Article 5 – paragraph 2

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

2. The Commission shall ensure that, in the conduct of its activities, the EUEB observes a balanced participation of all relevant interested parties concerned with each product group, such as competent bodies, manufacturers, retailers, importers, environmental protection groups and consumer organisations.

2. The Commission shall ensure that, in the conduct of its activities, the EUEB observes a balanced participation of all relevant interested parties concerned with each product group, such as competent bodies, manufacturers, producers, service providers, SMEs, importers, environmental protection groups and consumer organisations.

Amendment  20

Proposal for a regulation

Article 6 – paragraph 1

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

1. The Ecolabel criteria shall be based on the environmental performance of products, taking into account the latest strategic objectives of the Community in the field of the environment.

1. The Ecolabel criteria shall set out the environmental requirements that a product must fulfil in order to bear the Ecolabel and shall be based on a scientific analysis which evaluates the environmental performance of products, taking into account the latest strategic objectives of the Community in the field of the environment.

Justification

It is worth recalling the function of the criteria as a first point (This amendment simply moves the text of paragraph 3 - see Amendment 9).

Amendment  21

Proposal for a regulation

Article 6 – paragraph 1 a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

1a. The Ecolabel criteria shall be based on the precautionary principle.

Justification

Being a tool of environmental excellence, the Ecolabel should follow a precautionary approach. In particular regarding the use of chemicals the Ecolabel must go beyond REACH and other relevant legislation such as the RoHS and WEEE Directives.

Amendment  22

Proposal for a regulation

Article 6 – paragraph 2

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

2. The environmental performance of products shall be determined on the basis of the best performing products on the Community market. To this end, the most significant environmental impacts during the life cycle of products, in particular the impact on climate change, impact on nature and biodiversity, energy and resource consumption, generation of waste, emissions to all environmental media, pollution through physical effects and use and release of hazardous substances, shall be considered.

2. The criteria shall be determined taking into account the environmental impacts of the products available on the Community market. To this end only, the environmental impacts during the full life cycle of products shall be considered, which may include the impact on climate change, impact on nature and biodiversity, energy and resource consumption, generation of waste, emissions to all environmental media, pollution through physical effects and use and release of hazardous substances of potential risk for the environment as covered by Community legislation, as well as the potential to reduce such impacts due to durability and reusability of the products. The existing Ecolabel criteria for the different product groups shall be reviewed within 18 months of the adoption of this Regulation to ensure their full compliance with the lifecycle approach set out in this Article.

Justification

The criteria must be based on the full life cycle of the products and on all their environmental impacts. This must also be the case with existing criteria.

Amendment  23

Proposal for a regulation

Article 6 – paragraph 3

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

3. The Ecolabel criteria shall set out the environmental requirements that a product must fulfil in order to bear the Ecolabel.

deleted

Justification

This text was moved to the first paragraph of this article (see Amendment 7).

Amendment  24

Proposal for a regulation

Article 6 – paragraph 6

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

6. The Ecolabel criteria shall take into account the criteria established for other environmental labels where they exist for that product group.

6. The Ecolabel criteria shall take into account the criteria established for other environmental labels where they exist for that product group so as to enhance synergies. For products covered by existing Community legislation on labelling, Ecolabel criteria shall always correspond to the highest environmental requirements.

Justification

The Ecolabel constitutes an award of excellence. Subsequently, though it is desirable to avoid unnecessary administrative burdens by taking into consideration criteria already fixed within the framework of existing legislation, it is also important that these criteria correspond to the highest environmental requirements.

Amendment  25

Proposal for a regulation

Article 6 – paragraph 6 a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

6a. The Commission shall ensure that reducing animal testing is a key consideration in the development and revision of the criteria.

Justification

Criteria for Ecolabel should try to push the market for the reduction of animal testing.

Amendment  26

Proposal for a regulation

Article 7 – paragraph 1 – subparagraph 2

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

Following consultation of the EUEB, Member States, competent bodies and other stakeholders may also initiate and lead the development or revision of the Ecolabel criteria.

Following consultation of the EUEB and of the Commission, Member States and competent bodies may also initiate and lead the development or revision of the Ecolabel criteria. Stakeholders represented in the EUEB may be put in charge of leading the development of criteria, provided that they can demonstrate expertise in the product area, as well as the ability to lead the process with neutrality and in line with the aims of this Regulation.

Justification

It is important that a centralized body maintains an overview on the development of the procedure. In order to ensure independency and transparency of the proceeding as well as the public trust in Ecolabel there is the need of inserting a filter so that not every stakeholder is entitled to start and proceed as a leader to the development of criteria.

Amendment  27

Proposal for a regulation

Article 7 – paragraph 1 – subparagraph 3 a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

Those documents shall be submitted to the Commission.

Justification

This is to clarify the procedure.

Amendment  28

Proposal for a regulation

Article 7 – paragraph 3

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

3. Where criteria are developed for processed food other than the products of aquaculture, those criteria shall relate only to processing, transport or packaging.

deleted

Justification

Food should not be inserted as proposed in this Regulation for the reasons explained above.

Amendment  29

Proposal for a regulation

Article 7 – paragraph 3 a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

3a. Where there is a need for a non-substantial revision of the criteria, a shortened revision procedure as laid down in Annex I Ba may apply.

Justification

It is important to have an efficient and quick tool to make small and non substantial changes to the criteria.

Amendment  30

Proposal for a regulation

Article 7 – paragraph 3 a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

3a. Within one year from the entry into force of this Regulation, after consultation of EUEB and in accordance with the objectives and principles set out in Article 1, the Commission shall prepare and publish a three-year Community Ecolabel working plan setting objectives as well as a non-exhaustive list of product groups which will be considered as priorities for Community action. This plan shall be regularly updated.

Justification

Small addition to amendment 15 by the rapporteur to specify that the working plan should be for a duration of three years.

Amendment              31

Proposal for a regulation

Article 8 – paragraph 1

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

-1. Draft Ecolabel criteria shall be developed in accordance with the procedure laid down in Annex I and taking into account the working plan.

1. The Commission shall, following consultation of the EUEB, adopt measures to establish specific Ecolabel criteria for each product group.

1. The Commission shall adopt measures to establish specific Ecolabel criteria for each product group, subject to the requirements of Article 6, in accordance with the following procedure:

 

Not later than 3 months after the "final report and the draft criteria" as referred to in Article 7 have been submitted to the Commission, the Commission shall consult the EUEB on a draft proposal.

 

The Commission shall provide explanations and documentation on the reasoning behind any changes to its draft proposal compared to the criteria submitted in the final report pursuant to Article 7.

 

Not later than 3 months after consultation of the EUEB, the Commission shall submit a proposal for Ecolabel criteria to the regulatory committee established under Article 16(2) and subsequently adopt measures to establish Ecolabel criteria for a specific product group.

 

In its final proposal, the Commission shall take into account the comments of the EUEB and shall clearly highlight, document and provide explanations for the reasoning behind any changes in its final proposal compared to the draft proposal following the consultation of the EUEB.

Those measures, designed to amend non-essential elements of this Regulation, by supplementing it, shall be adopted in accordance with the regulatory procedure with scrutiny referred to in Article 16(2).

Those measures, designed to amend non-essential elements of this Regulation, by supplementing it, shall be adopted in accordance with the regulatory procedure with scrutiny referred to in Article 16(2).

Justification

Commission should explain changes in its draft proposal as compared to the EUEB opinion. And the Commission should have a deadline for the final decision.

Amendment  32

Proposal for a regulation

Article 8 – paragraph 2

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

In the measures referred to in paragraph 1 the Commission shall:

In the measures referred to in paragraph 1 the Commission shall:

a) establish requirements for assessing the compliance of specific products with the Ecolabel criteria;

a) establish requirements for assessing the compliance of specific products with the Ecolabel criteria;

b) indicate, where appropriate, the three key environmental characteristics that shall be placed on the Ecolabel;

b) indicate, where appropriate, the three key environmental characteristics that may be placed on the Ecolabel;

c) specify the period of validity of the criteria and of the assessment requirements.

c) specify the period, which shall not exceed 2 years, of validity of the criteria and of the assessment requirements;

 

d) specify the degree of product variability allowed during the period of validity referred to in point (c).

Justification

It is of paramount importance that a mechanism is foreseen to take account of the continuous improvement of products, also within the period of validity of the Ecolabel criteria. Currently the product criteria are set for long periods (e.g. 3 years) and are inflexible; it is difficult to even make minor changes to formulation to include new, more sustainable ingredients and to adapt to technical progress without having to go through the whole process of re-applying for the Ecolabel.

Amendment  33

Proposal for a regulation

Article 8 – paragraph 3 a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

(3a) When establishing Ecolabel criteria care shall be taken not to introduce measures whose implementation may impose disproportionate administrative and economic burdens on SMEs.

Amendment  34

Proposal for a regulation

Article 9 – title

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

Registration for use of the Ecolabel

Certification and registration for use of the Ecolabel

Justification

Simply registering the product is not enough in the case of the Ecolabel. Checking by an independent body is necessary in order for the Ecolabel to have the necessary standing (i.e. introduce a test of conformity).

Amendment  35

Proposal for a regulation

Article 9 – paragraph 1 – subparagraph 1

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

1. In order to use the Ecolabel, manufacturers, importers, service providers, wholesalers or retailers who wish to use the Ecolabel shall register with one of the competent bodies referred to in Article 4 in accordance with the following rules:

1. In order to use the Ecolabel, any operator shall register with one of the competent bodies referred to in Article 4 in any Member State where the product has been or is to be placed on the market.

(a) where a product originates in a single Member State, the registration shall be made with the competent body of that Member State;

 

(b) where a product originates in the same form in several Member States, the registration may be made with a competent body in one of those Member States;

 

(c) where a product originates outside the Community, the registration shall be made with a competent body in any of the Member States in which the product is to be or has been placed on the market.

 

Justification

Simplification of the text.

This amendment aims to simplify the registration by indicating that the registration shall (irrespective of where the product originates from) be made with a competent body in the Member State where the product has been or is to be placed on the market.

Amendment  36

Proposal for a regulation

Article 9 – paragraph 2 – subparagraph 1

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

2. Applications for registration shall specify the name and address of the trader, as well as the product group in question and contain a full description of the product.

2. Applications for registration shall specify the name and address of the operator as well as the product group in question and contain a full description of the product.

Justification

Not only the trader could apply to register; 'operator' seems more appropriate.

Amendment  37

Proposal for a regulation

Article 9 – paragraph 2 – subparagraph 2

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

Applications for registration shall include all relevant documentation, as specified in the relevant Commission measure establishing Ecolabel criteria for the product group in question.

Applications for registration shall include all relevant documentation, as specified in the relevant Commission measure establishing Ecolabel criteria for the product group in question. The economic operator shall provide evidence that compliance with the Ecolabel criteria has been certified by an independent body.

Justification

Simply registering the product is not enough in the case of the Ecolabel. Checking by an independent body is necessary in order for the Ecolabel to have the necessary standing (i.e. introduce a test of conformity).

Amendment  38

Proposal for a regulation

Article 9 – paragraph 3

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

3. The competent body to which an application for registration is made may charge a fee of up to € 200 for processing the registration. If a fee is charged, the use of the Ecolabel shall be conditional upon the fee having been paid in due time.

3. Every application for the award of an Ecolabel shall be subject to payment of a fee relating to the costs of processing the application. In any case, the fee should be reduced by at least 25 % for SMEs.

Justification

The registration fee of €200 will not cover the administrative costs for the procedure. As an effect Member states will have to subsidize this procedure, an obstacle for the success of the EU flower and its proliferation throughout the internal market.

The principle should be set that for an SME's it will be more difficult and onerous to apply to the Ecolabel scheme. Therefore, they should be encouraged with preferential treatment.

Amendment  39

Proposal for a regulation

Article 9 – paragraph 4

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

4. Within two month of receipt of an application for registration, the competent body concerned shall check the documentation referred to in paragraph 2.

4. Within two month of receipt of an application for registration, the competent body concerned shall verify the documentation referred to in paragraph 2, as well as the product's compliance with the criteria adopted by the Commission under Article 8.

Provided that the documentation is complete, the competent body shall assign a registration number to each product.

Provided that the documentation is approved, that the product complies with the criteria and that the registration conforms to the assessment and verification requirements, the competent body shall assign a registration number to each product. The competent body shall conclude its approval procedure within four months of the date of the application.

Justification

One of the major advantages of the current regulation has been its high degree of credibility, which should not be endangered by abolishing the verification and assessment procedures prior to the award of the Ecolabel for the sake of flexibility. This has been ensured till now by a third party verification.

Amendment  40

Proposal for a regulation

Article 9 – paragraph 6

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(6) The competent body which has registered a product shall notify each registration to the Commission. The Commission shall establish a common register and update it regularly. That register shall be publicly available.

(6) The competent body which has registered a product shall notify each registration to the Commission. The Commission shall establish a common register and update it regularly. That register shall be publicly available, in particular on a website dedicated to the Ecolabel, and from the authorities in the Member States.

Justification

Consumers must be guaranteed the easiest possible access to a list of products bearing the Ecolabel.

Recognition of the Ecolabel can increase by means of transparency, visibility and availability of information in a user-friendly web-portal.

Amendment  41

Proposal for a regulation

Article 9 – paragraph 7

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

7. The Ecolabel may be used on the products covered by the registration and on their associated promotional material.

7. The Ecolabel may be used on the products covered by the registration and on their associated promotional material. The location of the Ecolabel shall be prominent and shall define the product concerned even if it is purchased along with other products.

Amendment  42

Proposal for a regulation

Article 9 – paragraph 10

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

10. Where the Ecolabel is placed on processed food other than the products of aquaculture that do not fulfil the requirements of Regulation (EC) No 834/2007, it shall be supplemented by an indication in the same visual field to the effect that the label relates only to the environmental performance of processing, transport or packaging of the product.

deleted

The first subparagraph shall also apply to processed food labelled in accordance with Article 24 of Regulation (EC) No 834/2007.

 

Justification

See above the question of food.

Amendment  43

Proposal for a regulation

Article 10 – paragraph 2 - subparagraph 1

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

2. The competent body which has registered the product shall proceed to verifications on a regular basis, or upon complaint, in relation to registrations made with them. Those verifications may take the form of random spot checks.

2. The competent body which has registered the product shall proceed to verifications on a regular basis, or upon complaint, in relation to registrations made with them. Those verifications may take the form of random spot checks. The Commission shall ensure that the competent bodies undertake spot checks on a regular basis. The Member States shall provide the competent bodies with all the necessary means to carry out these checks.

Justification

The proper functioning of the competent bodies is highly dependent on the available resources provided to them by Member States.

Amendment  44

Proposal for a regulation

Article 10 a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

Article 10a

 

Small and medium-sized enterprises

 

In order to protect SMEs, the Commission shall:

 

(a) ensure that the information offices to be set up under the forthcoming Small Business Act are also assigned the task of providing information about the ecolabelling scheme; and

 

(b) actively promote the approximation of different labelling schemes.

Justification

It is very important to take account of SMEs' administrative burdens and, accordingly, endeavour to reduce them as much as possible.

Amendment  45

Proposal for a regulation

Article 11 – paragraph 1 a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

The co-existence of the Community Ecolabel with the national Ecolabel schemes shall be ensured by means of exchange of best practices. Moreover, the Community Ecolabel scheme may promote the ecolabelled products in the relevant national markets and may facilitate the entry of ecolabelled products into the markets of other Member States.

Amendment  46

Proposal for a regulation

Article 12

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

Member States and the Commission shall, in cooperation with the EUEB, promote the use of the Community Ecolabel by awareness-raising actions and information campaigns for consumers, producers, public purchasers, traders, retailers and the general public, thus supporting the development of the scheme.

The Commission, Member States and participating companies shall, in cooperation with the EUEB, allocate significant resources to promote the use of the Community Ecolabel by awareness-raising actions, information campaigns for consumers, producers, manufacturers, public purchasers, traders, retailers and the general public, including schools, and the dissemination of information from the dedicated Ecolabel website, thus supporting the development of the scheme, and by encouraging the uptake of the scheme, in particular by setting up help desk services for operators, especially SMEs. Whilst the marketing of the Ecolabel scheme shall remain a national competence so as to better reflect the consumer preferences of each Member State, a common marketing expertise shall be put in place to provide guidance, and coordination, to promote exchange of best practices, and to develop concrete action plans at Community level.

 

The public sector shall be more involved in the promotion of the Ecolabel scheme, both as a leader in setting the example for the attainment of the Community's environmental targets, and as a consumer. Therefore, when the Community institutions and national public authorities purchase, by means of public procurement, products for which ecolabel criteria exist, those products shall as a minimum meet the requirements of the Community Ecolabel scheme.

Justification

The marketing campaigns should be adjusted to the specific needs of each market, so as to be more effective. Public procurement can be a very efficient tool in promoting ecolabelled products, not only by permitting a Member State to set the example to the consumers, but also by giving a decisive boost to market demand for environmentally friendly products.

Under promotional activities not only information campaigns should be financed, instead practical helps for operators who want to apply for a registration under Ecolabel should be provided.

It is important the all actors are involved in the promotion of the EU ecolabel.

Amendment  47

Proposal for a regulation

Article 12 – paragraph 1 a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

The promotion must be carried out via the Ecolabel website which is available in all 23 official languages, an EU information campaign organised by the Commission, and information materials distributed in the Member States.

Amendment  48

Proposal for a regulation

Article 12 – paragraph 1 b (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

Member States shall set targets for the purchasing of products bearing the Ecolabel in public procurement.

Justification

Awareness-raising actions and information campaigns alone are not enough to promote the Ecolabel. Member States should lay down targets for purchasing such products in public procurement.

Amendment  49

Proposal for a regulation

Article 13 – title

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

Peer evaluation

Exchange of information and best practices

Justification

Competent bodies should be encouraged to work together.

Amendment  50

Proposal for a regulation

Article 13 – paragraph 1

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

In order to ensure a harmonised application of Articles 9 and 10, competent bodies shall undergo a peer evaluation. The peer evaluation shall be operated on the basis of sound and transparent evaluation criteria and provisions.

In order to ensure a harmonised application of this Regulation and, in particular, Articles 9 and 10, competent bodies shall share information and experience with each other on a regular, institutionalised framework, and shall endeavour to coordinate the work and services of the competent national organisations.

Justification

There is a need for a regular, institutionalised exchange of experience and cooperation between the responsible authorities if the effectiveness of using the Ecolabel is to be increased and changes are to be made during the review procedures on the basis of practical experience.

Amendment  51

Proposal for a regulation

Article 14

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

By [set a specific date - five years from the date of publication) at the latest, the Commission shall submit to the European Parliament and the Council a report on the implementation of the Community Ecolabel scheme. The report shall also identify elements for a possible review of the scheme.

By [set a specific date - five years from the date of publication) at the latest, the Commission shall submit to the European Parliament and the Council a report on the implementation of the Community Ecolabel scheme, in particular as regards the implementation of Article 12. The report shall also identify the achievements made with respect to the objectives set out in the working plan as well as elements for a possible review of the scheme.

Justification

It is important to follow closely the development of Ecolabel, how funds are used and if the objectives are met or not and for which reasons.

Amendment  52

Proposal for a regulation

Article 15 – paragraph 1

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

The Commission may increase the maximum fee provided for in Article 9(3) and amend the Annexes.

The Commission may modify the maximum fee provided for in Article 9(3) and amend the Annexes.

Justification

It should also be possible to lower the fee.

Amendment              53

Proposal for a regulation

Annex 1 – Part A – point 1 – indent 9 a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

- Analysis of the availability of products within a product group without substances, preparations or mixtures classified as very toxic, toxic, dangerous to the environment, carcinogenic, mutagenic or toxic for reproduction (CMR), in accordance with Directive 67/548/EEC, Directive 1999/45/EC or Regulation (EC) No. 1278/2008, or substances referred to in Article 57 of Regulation (EC) No 1907/2006 (REACH).

Justification

Criteria should take into account the substitution principle.

Amendment  54

Proposal for a regulation

Annex I – part A – point 1 – subparagraph 2

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

The preliminary report shall be made available on the Commission's dedicated Ecolabel website for comment and reference during the development of the criteria.

The preliminary report shall be made available on the Commission's dedicated Ecolabel website, which must be made available in all 23 official languages, for comment and reference during the development of the criteria.

Justification

Every company in a Member State must be able to access information on the logo on the official website.

Amendment              55

Proposal for a regulation

Annex I – Part A – point 2 – indent 1

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

- they shall be based on the environmental performance throughout the life-cycle of the product of the best performing products on the market and correspond, as far as possible, to 10% of the best performing products available on the market;

- they shall be based on the environmental performance throughout the life-cycle of the best performing products on the internal market at the moment of their adoption.

 

- they shall correspond to a certain percentage of the best performing products available on the internal market at the moment of their adoption. The exact percentage shall be defined with flexibility on a case-by-case basis depending on the product category, normally between 10 to 20 %, and in any case with the aim of rewarding and promoting the most environmentally friendly products on the market and ensuring that consumers are provided with a sufficient choice of Ecolabel products.

Justification

It is important that Ecolabel remains a driver for further innovation.

Amendment  56

Proposal for a regulation

Annex I – part A – point 2 – subparagraph 2 – indent 2

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

-they shall be based on the most significant environmental impacts of the product, be expressed as far as is reasonably possible via technical key environmental performance indicators of the product, and be suitable for assessment according to the rules of this Regulation;

- they shall be based on the environmental impacts of the product, be expressed as far as is reasonably possible via technical key environmental performance indicators of the product, and be suitable for assessment according to the rules of this Regulation;

Justification

Only rewarding the 10 % best performing goods within a product group is not appropriate for all product groups. Therefore, the exact ambition level should be set within a range of 10 to 20 % when defining the criteria for each product group. The criteria should be based on all the environmental impacts of the product.

Amendment              57

Proposal for a regulation

Annex I – Part A – point 2 a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

2a. Specific rules for Ecolabel for food and drink products as defined in Article 2 of Regulation (EC) No 178/2002 as well as for food falling within the scope of Regulation (EC) No 834/2007.

 

The technical report should demonstrate the following:

 

- that there is a real added environmental value in developing Ecolabel criteria for the chosen product;

 

- that the Ecolabel has taken into account the whole life cycle of the product;

 

- that the use of the Ecolabel on the chosen product will not cause confusion in the minds of consumers when compared with other food labels.

 

Where criteria are developed for food and drink products falling within the scope of Regulation (EC) No 834/2007, the form of the label, and the information it presents, may be modified, in order to avoid any confusion in the minds of consumers.

Justification

There is a need for further studies on the feasibility of environmental criteria for food.

Amendment  58

Proposal for a regulation

Annex I - point 5

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

A user manual providing guidance for the use of the Ecolabel criteria to authorities awarding public contracts shall be established.

A user manual translated into all official Community languages providing guidance for the use of the Ecolabel criteria to authorities awarding public contracts shall be established.

Note: The Commission will provide templates for the user manual for applicants and competent bodies and for the user manual for authorities awarding public contracts.

Note: The Commission will provide templates translated into all official Community languages for the user manual for applicants and competent bodies and for the user manual for authorities awarding public contracts

Justification

A translation of the user manual as well as of the templates will facilitate the application procedure that businesses have to undergo in order to obtain the Ecolabel.

Amendment  59

Proposal for a regulation

Annex I – point B a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

(Ba.) Shortened procedure for non-substantial revision of the criteria

 

The Commission shall produce a report containing the following:

 

- a justification explaining why there is no need for a full revision of the criteria and why a simple updating of the criteria and their stringency levels is sufficient

 

- a technical section updating the previous market data used for the setting of the criteria

 

- a draft revised criteria proposal

 

- a quantitative indication of the overall environmental performance that the revised criteria are expected to achieve in their totality, when compared to that of the average products on the market;

 

- a revised user manual for potential users of the Ecolabel and competent bodies; and

 

- a revised user manual for authorities awarding public contracts.

 

The report and the draft criteria proposal shall be made available for public consultation on the Commission's dedicated Ecolabel website for a period of two months for comment.

 

Responses shall be given to all comments received during the public consultation period, indicating whether each comment is accepted or rejected and why.

 

Subject to any changes made during the public consultation period, and if no Member State requests an open working group meeting, the Commission may adopt the criteria pursuant to Article 8.

 

Upon request from any Member State, an open working group meeting shall be held on the draft revised criteria, in which all interested parties, such as competent bodies, industry (including SMEs), trade unions, retailers, importers, environmental and consumer organisations, shall participate. The Commission shall also participate in that meeting.

 

Subject to any changes made during the public consultation period or during the working group meeting, the Commission may adopt the criteria pursuant to Article 8.

Justification

Justification: One of the key's elements for the success of Ecolabel would be the fact that criteria can be rapidly updated in case there is a non substantial change of a single element of the criteria.

Amendment  60

Proposal for a regulation

Annex II - paragraph 4 a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

The lettering on the Ecolabel shall be determined by the competent bodies of each Member State using the official language or languages of that Member State in such a way that the text is equivalent to the English original.


EXPLANATORY STATEMENT

Ecolabel is the name of a voluntary mark whose purpose is to promote, at European level, the dissemination of high-efficiency products which have a low ecological impact throughout their life-cycle.

To this end, certain eco-quality standards have been fixed (we shall here call them 'criteria') for each of a number of specific product categories. There are at present 26 product categories, 622 licences and over 3000 products and services - detergents, paper, clothing (including shoes and textiles), tourism, camping products, etc - for which Ecolabels have been awarded.

This mark and the flower that symbolises it are dynamising elements which, thanks to the constant updating of the environmental criteria for the products for which they are awarded, encourages enterprises to operate a virtuous cycle of effort with a view to the overall raising of the eco-quality of products on the market.

By means of the European action plan for production and sustainable consumption and, in particular, the revision of the Ecolabel regulation, the Emas regulation (COM(2008)0402) and the Eco-design directive (COM(2008)0399), and also taking into account the communication on public contracts for a better environment (COM (2008)408), the Union aims to encourage the spread of a voluntary, integrated system that will encourage enterprises to improve their products and attain higher standards of energy efficiency and environment-friendliness.

With regard to Ecolabel, the signals emerging from the market are conflicting. The experience obtained over the almost ten years of existence of this certification points to the need for more decisive intervention with a view to dealing with certain crucial aspects of the system.

On the one hand, increasing numbers of enterprises are seeking Ecolabel certification, in a very wide range of sectors. Operators are aware of the value added conferred by an impartial process of certification which is appreciated by consumers, a group who are now more attuned to the issue of CSI (corporate social responsibility) in the context of environmental protection.

In addition, the possibility of a European-scale reach for Ecolabel is a further asset, as recognised and indeed desired by numerous enterprises.

Unlike other European marks, it is unknown to many: its significance is not recognised, and, therefore, nor are the ecological characteristics which it exists to promote. Indeed, it is sufficient to compare it with the national marks having a similar function to realise that the European mark is less disseminated and less well-known.

Furthermore, operators in the sector and NGOs tend to be crtical of the excessive time needed for approval of criteria (it can take more than four years), as well as of the lack of harmonisation of the criteria adopted for similar product categories.

There is, besides, a lack of coordination with the comparable national marks, which in some cases use different parameters for the same types and are more favourably received than Ecolabel.

With a view to tacking these problems, the Commission has presented a proposal for a new regulation. Your rapporteur endorses this proposal for the most part.

The proposal introduces numerous modifications concerning approval of criteria and a new system for awarding the mark.

The old system requiring a contract between the competent body and the operator is replaced by a registration system.

Provisions are added to improve coordination with the national certification systems.

To facilitate a multi-level approach, a number of agents - the Commission, the Member States, and operators in the sector - are empowered to promote the system and play a leading role in developing and specifying the criteria.

The Commission proposal introduces a number of new product categories, including processed food products and fisheries and aquaculture products.

Rapporteur's proposal

Your rapporteur has tabled a number of changes to the proposal, on the basis of three guidelines:

- preserving consumer confidence in the high standards of eco-quality represented by Ecolabel;

- improving the dissemination of Ecolabel through actions to raise consumer awareness and an extension of the number of eligible product categories;

- ensuring that the procedure for approving criteria can keep up with changing times and with the level of product innovation on the market, while preserving environmental excellence and involving all sectoral operators and interested parties;

Your rapporteur has eliminated the references to processed food products and fisheries and aquaculture products, on the grounds that it is not advisable to operate differential treatment for those product categories, and still less so to apply different rules to processed and non-processed food products. It is also important to guard against the risk of confusion with organic products.

It therefore seems best to leave to the experts any decision on whether to award Ecolabel status to one or other type of food products: only those with the necessary technical knowledge can assess the degree of environment-friendliness of the whole life-cycle of a food product.

Regarding the new procedure, it is essential to make it clear that registration of a new product under Ecolabel must always be preceded by checks on the genuine presence of the criteria, i.e. checks that are more than documentary. Your rapporteur has therefore reintroduced, via a specific amendment, the notion of ex ante controls, to be carried out prior to awarding the Ecolabel mark.

In view of the voluntary character of the mark and the high expectations attached by consumers to products displaying the Ecolabel flower, your rapporteur has reintroduced the provision under which Ecolabel cannot be awarded to products containing substances that are hazardous for consumer health or the environment.

If the credibility of the Ecolabel certification system is to be maintained, it is essential to retain, for the products bearing the label, the general principle of the protection of consumer health and the environment.

Nonetheless, your rapporteur, aware that a prohibition could limit the possibilities of extending Ecolabel to a wider range of product categories, proposes that the Commission, through the commitology procedure and for specific product categories, could introduce justified exceptions to the above principle.

In addition, given that the EU legislative framework (REACH, GRIS, etc) is increasingly oriented towards reducing animal testing, your rapporteur believes that the above principle should also be integrated into the voluntary Ecolabel scheme, whose raison d´être is the development and certification of products meeting the highest environmental standards.

With regard to the approval process for the criteria for specific product categories, many operators in the sector are critical of the lengthiness of the criteria approval process and of the rapid obsolescence of the criteria once approved, in the wake of market trends.

On this point, your rapporteur's proposals are twofold:

- in order to reduce the delay in approving criteria, introduction of a maximum 180-day period between completion of the evaluation and approval of the criteria by the Commission;

- introduction of a simplified and shorter revision procedure for minor changes to the criteria (see new Annex).

With regard to promotion activities (former Article 12 of the regulation), it is necessary to improve consumer information and organise awareness campaigns, while also using EU funds for purposes of advising companies on the practical aspects of registering product categories.

It is also essential to pay particular attention to SMEs, increasing their awareness of Ecolabel and helping them participate in the decisions on the criteria while taking account of their specific needs.

In conclusion, your rapporteur sees Ecolabel as an extremely useful tool for improving the environment-friendliness of European products and stimulating research and technological innovation.

The challenge is to be able to provide accurate parameters that take account of the ecological characteristics of a product or service throughout its life-cycle. We need criteria that are reliable and not liable to be distorted, in order to ensure excellence across the entire life-cycle of a product and to maintain consumer confidence in the Ecolabel mark.


OPINION of the Committee on Industry, Research and Energy (22.1.2009)

for the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety

on the proposal for a regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on a Community Ecolabel scheme

(COM(2008)0401 – C6‑0279/2008 – 2008/0152(COD))

Rapporteur: Nikolaos Vakalis

SHORT JUSTIFICATION

Content and purpose

The proposal, as amended below, aims to guide consumers towards environmentally-friendly products and services by awarding an eco-label, a label of excellence, to top-performing products and services based on environmental criteria. The Eco-label logo (EU Flower) should be used by producers as a marketing tool and promote those products and services. It replaces Regulation (EC) No 1980/2000 on a revised Community Ecolabel award scheme, which suffers from low awareness of the label and low uptake by industry, resulting from overly bureaucratic processes and management.

The ITRE relevant aspects

The revision of the regulation on the EU Eco-label scheme has the potential to have a positive impact on energy efficiency and industry competitiveness within the EU.

Firstly, the revision of the EU Eco-label provides for an improved system of criteria-setting which will determine whether the EU will lead the way with up-to-date and ambitious, yet attainable, energy efficiency standards.

Secondly, the revision of the scheme has the potential of presenting businesses with additional opportunities. They can use the EU Flower as an effective marketing tool throughout the Internal Market, at the same time contributing to environmental sustainability and benefiting consumers who are increasingly demanding greener products and services.

Regrettably, the results of the current regulation have not been satisfactory. The draftsperson thus seeks to ensure that increased incentives for businesses to participate in the voluntary scheme are created and that all the unnecessary financial and administrative burdens on industry are avoided, but without detriment to its credibility.

Taking in particular these issues into account, the draftsperson seeks to improve the following elements of the proposed regulation.

Keeping food out of the scope of the Regulation

The revised regulation calls for the inclusion of processed food, whereby the criteria for awarding the Eco-label should only look at its processing, transport and packaging. This would create severe inconsistencies and confuse consumers.

Firstly, the proposed application of the regulation to a limited fraction of food products (processed food, fishing, aquaculture) would create an arbitrary distinction between them. Secondly, looking only at processing, transport and packaging of a fraction of food products would violate the life-cycle approach and neglect the phase of food products' life-cycle with the highest impact on the environment, namely production and consumption. Thirdly, this could lead to confusion with existing legislation on organic food. Therefore, the draftsperson proposes to work separately at EU level on labelling requirements for food products in line with existing EU food legislation.

Stressing a clear life-cycle approach for criteria-setting

The development of criteria must take into account the entire life-cycle of products, in order to develop meaningful eco criteria, which allow guiding the consumer towards more sustainable consumption and industry towards more sustainable production patterns.

Enhancing recognition of the EU Eco-label

The most striking problem is the lack of recognition of the label by EU consumers. It is therefore of paramount importance to raise both consumer and producer awareness. Taking into account the subsidiarity principle, the responsibility for promoting the eco-label scheme lies on Member States. However, some guidance can be given at EU level to engage in a process of mutual learning for promoting the Eco-label, in particular given that national eco-labels are very successful in some Member States. Furthermore, the public sector can play an important role in promoting eco-labels by taking them into account in public purchasing procedures.

Since promotional activities need appropriate financing, part of the revenue raised by registration fees should be invested in the promotion of the Eco-label. This will make the scheme more effective as a marketing tool and attract more producers to take advantage of it, thereby generating additional registration fees.

Registration Fees

The draftsman welcomes the proposal to abolish the current annual fees being applied by competent bodies to Eco-label users, as a significant step in making the scheme less bureaucratic and reducing the administrative burden for companies. In order to process registration, he proposes a fee of up to 1000 euros, proportionate to the size of each enterprise, while at the same time suggests that Member States may not charge any fees, as a measure of promotion of the scheme.

Strengthening market surveillance

Market surveillance needs to be strengthened, in particular to ensure a level-playing field within the Common Market. Therefore, provisions should be made that the necessary resources are available within each Member State to ensure market surveillance.

Transparent and non-discriminatory registration

In order to avoid discrimination between EU and third-countries producers, the same rules for registration for use of the Eco-label should apply. This means that producers wishing to apply the Eco-label shall register in any of the Member States, in which the product has been placed on the market. Specific provisions should enhance transparency of registration and avoid any possible consumer confusion.

Rapid expansion of product groups

The regulation must set up a system that allows creating quickly criteria for an extended number of product groups. The limited amount of product groups has posed an obvious barrier to a broader impact of the Eco-label as a marketing tool. Extending the number of product groups will thus allow more firms to take part in the scheme.

For this purpose, a working plan should be established and timelines should be set for the implementation of this working plan.

Furthermore, the draftsperson proposes some measures to ensure that criteria are based on scientific standards and that stakeholders involved are qualified.

AMENDMENTS

The Committee on Industry, Research and Energy calls on the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety, as the committee responsible, to incorporate the following amendments in its report:

Amendment  1

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 3

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(3) In order to avoid the proliferation of environmental labelling schemes, and to encourage higher environmental performance in all sectors for which environmental impact is a factor in consumer choice, the possibility of using the Community Ecolabel should be extended. However, it is necessary to ensure a clear distinction between this Regulation and Council Regulation (EC) No 834/2007 of 28 June 2007 on organic production and labelling of organic products and repealing Regulation (EEC) No 2092/91.

(3) In order to avoid the proliferation of environmental labelling schemes, and to encourage higher environmental performance in all sectors for which environmental impact is a factor in consumer choice, the possibility of using the Community Ecolabel should be extended. However, in the light of the specificities of food products, these should be excluded from the scope of this Regulation. The Commission should cooperate with all stakeholders, including the scientific community, civil society and industry, to facilitate the development of an Ecolabel for the environmental performance of processed and unprocessed food products, covering the full product life-cycle, taking into account the specificities of food in terms of health and nutrition, and considering existing and emerging legal developments throughout the European Union.

Justification

The exclusion of food from the existing Regulation aims to avoid conflicts with existing EU food legislation, as well as consumer confusion. It is also in line with the life-cycle principle, a parameter of paramount importance in the present Regulation. The Commission shall facilitate the development of an Ecolabel for the environmental performance of processed and unprocessed food products, covering the full product life-cycle, taking into account the specificities of this product group.

Amendment  2

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 4

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(4) The Community Ecolabel scheme is part of the sustainable consumption and production policy of the Community, which aims at reducing the negative impact of consumption and production on the environment, health and natural resources. The scheme is intended to promote those products which have a high level of environmental performance through the use of the Ecolabel. To this effect, it is appropriate to require that the criteria which products must comply with in order to bear the Ecolabel be based on the best environmental performance achieved by products on the Community market. Those criteria should be simple to understand and to use and should therefore be limited to the most significant environmental impacts of products.

(4) The Community Ecolabel scheme is part of the sustainable consumption and production policy of the Community, which aims at reducing the negative impact of consumption and production on the environment, health and natural resources. The scheme is intended to promote those products which have a high level of environmental performance through the use of the Ecolabel. To this effect, it is appropriate to require that the criteria which products must comply with in order to bear the Ecolabel be based on the best environmental performance achieved by products on the Community market. Those criteria should be simple to understand and to use,and should be based on scientific evidence taking into consideration the latest technological developments. Those criteria should be market oriented and limited to the most significant environmental impacts of products during their full life cycle including the phases of manufacturing, use and obsolescence.

Justification

The criteria which products must comply with in order to bear the Ecolabel have to be trustworthy. This can only happen if they are based on a solid scientific basis and if they regularly take into account up-to-date technological developments. Those criteria have also to take into account, as far as possible, all resources consumed and all environmental and health implications that are associated with the complete life cycle of a product (good or service).

Amendment  3

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 4 a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

(4a) The Community Ecolabel scheme should take into account existing Community legislation so as to avoid divergent approaches to safety assessment.

Justification

The Ecolabel Regulation should not lead to the European Community adopting differing approaches to the safety assessment, management and use of chemicals, covered today by REACH and the Classification and Labelling Directive. Existing legislation should prevail.

Amendment  4

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 6

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(6) In order to simplify the Community Ecolabel scheme and to reduce the administrative burden linked to the use of the Ecolabel, the assessment and verification procedures should be replaced by a registration system.

(6) In order to simplify the Community Ecolabel scheme and to reduce the administrative burden linked to the use of the Ecolabel, the assessment and verification procedures should be included in a harmonised registration system which should be applied across the Member States and competent bodies.

Justification

It is important that the registration system is complementary to the assessment and verification procedures, in order not to sacrifice the credibility of the scheme for the sake of flexibility.

Amendment  5

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 7 a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

(7a) In order to increase the use of the Community Ecolabel scheme in future revisions of this Regulation, there will be a need for a definite shift from the 10% best performing products criteria to the introduction of a gradation system in each product category to help consumers to make sustainable consumption choices and to create incentives to manufacturers constantly to improve their offer.

Justification

For the real spread of the use of the Community Ecolabel the" system of the 10% best" is considered not being enough effective. Every product from all the product groups should have the possibility to apply for the label and have it on the product and according to a grading system, grade 'A' or 'B' or 'C' would indicate its environmental performance.

Amendment  6

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 8

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(8) In light of the simplified procedures for use of the Ecolabel, it is appropriate to provide for the conditions under which the Ecolabel may be used and, in order to ensure compliance with those conditions, to require competent bodies to undertake verifications and to prohibit the use of the Ecolabel where the conditions for use have not been complied with. It is also appropriate to require Member States to lay down the rules on penalties applicable to infringements of this Regulation and to ensure that they are implemented.

(8) In light of the simplified procedures for use of the Ecolabel, it is appropriate to provide for the conditions under which the Ecolabel may be used and, in order to ensure compliance with those conditions, to require competent bodies to undertake verifications and to prohibit the use of the Ecolabel where the conditions for use have not been complied with. It is also appropriate to require Member States to lay down the rules on penalties applicable to infringements of this Regulation and to ensure that they are implemented. To this end, Member States should ensure the provision to the competent bodies of all necessary financial means and human resources.

Justification

The proper functioning of the competent bodies is highly dependent on the available resources provided to them by member states.

Amendment  7

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 9

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(9) It is necessary to raise public awareness of the Community Ecolabel through promotion actions in order to make consumers aware of the meaning of the label and to enable them to make informed choices.

(9) It is necessary to inform the public and raise public awareness of the Community Ecolabel through promotion actions in order to make consumers aware of the meaning of the label and to enable them to make informed choices. The revenue raised by any fees for an application for registration charged under this Regulation should be used primarily for marketing purposes.

Justification

It is clear that one of the major shortcomings of the current scheme is the lack of consumer awareness due to poor marketing. It is, therefore, important to devote a considerable amount of financial resources to this purpose. It is necessary to inform the public and raise public awareness of the Community Ecolabel through promotion actions, in order to make consumers aware of the meaning of the label and to enable them to make informed choices.

Amendment  8

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 9 a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

(9a) The Community Ecolabel scheme should take into account existing Community legislation so as to avoid divergent approaches and increasing administrative burdens on undertakings. Therefore, synergies between different product-related policy instruments should be enhanced so as to ensure a harmonised framework in which criteria are presented.

Justification

Since the Ecolabel constitutes only a component of the Action Plan for Sustainable Production and Consumption, it is of high importance to ensure synergies with the other actions of the Plan.

Amendment  9

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 9 b (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

(9b) As small businesses often have more difficulty assimilating new regulations and standards, the information offices to be set up under the forthcoming Small Business Act should also be assigned the task of providing information about the Ecolabel scheme.

Justification

It is important to establish links between the Ecolabel scheme and the Small Business Act in order to facilitate matters for SMEs.

Amendment  10

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 9 c (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

(9c) As different ecolabelling schemes always entail additional work, particularly for small businesses, the Commission should be instructed actively to promote the approximation of different labelling schemes,

Justification

It is very important to take account of SMEs' administrative burdens and, accordingly, endeavour to reduce them as much as possible.

Amendment  11

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 10

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(10) In order to facilitate the marketing of products bearing environmental labels at national and Community level and to avoid confusing consumers, it is also necessary to enhance the coherence between the Community Ecolabel scheme and national Ecolabel schemes in the Community.

(10) In order to facilitate the marketing of products bearing environmental labels at national and Community level and to avoid confusing consumers, it is also necessary to enhance the coherence between the Community Ecolabel scheme and national Ecolabel schemes in the Community, and to create an official EU internet site gathering together all EU ecolabelling information and practices for the information of consumers. The co-existence of these schemes should lead to a "win-win" situation for both labels by means of exchange of best practices. Moreover, the Community Ecolabel scheme should promote the ecolabelled products in the national markets and should facilitate the entering of ecolabelled products into the markets of other Member States.

Amendment  12

Proposal for a regulation

Article 2 – paragraph 2

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

Concerning food products as defined in Article 2 of Regulation (EC) No 178/2002 of the European Parliament and of the Council, it shall only apply to processed food and to the products of fishing and aquaculture.

This Regulation shall not apply to food products as defined in Article 2 of Regulation (EC) No 178/2002 of the European Parliament and of the Council.

Justification

The exclusion of food from the existing Regulation aims to avoid conflicts with existing EU food legislation, as well as consumer confusion. It is also in line with the life-cycle principle, a parameter of paramount importance in the present Regulation. The Commission shall facilitate the development of an ecolabel for the environmental performance of processed and unprocessed food products, covering the full product life-cycle, taking into account the specificities of this product group.

Amendment  13

Proposal for a regulation

Article 4 – paragraph 1

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

1. Each Member State shall designate the body or bodies responsible for carrying out the tasks provided for in this Regulation (hereinafter referred to as "the competent body" or "the competent bodies") and ensure that they are operational. Where more than one competent body is designated, the Member State shall determine those bodies' respective powers and the coordination requirements applicable to them.

1. Each Member State shall designate the body or bodies responsible for carrying out the tasks provided for in this Regulation (hereinafter referred to as "the competent body" or "the competent bodies") and ensure that they are operational, providing them with all the necessary financial means and human resources. Where more than one competent body is designated, the Member State shall determine those bodies' respective powers and the coordination requirements applicable to them.

Justification

The proper functioning of the competent bodies is highly dependent on the available resources provided to them by Member States.

Amendment  14

Proposal for a regulation

Article 6 – paragraph 2

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

2. The environmental performance of products shall be determined on the basis of the best performing products on the Community market. To this end, the most significant environmental impacts during the life cycle of products, in particular the impact on climate change, impact on nature and biodiversity, energy and resource consumption, generation of waste, emissions to all environmental media, pollution through physical effects and use and release of hazardous substances, shall be considered.

2. The environmental performance of products shall be determined on the basis of the best performing products on the Community market. To this end the most significant, scientifically proven environmental impacts during the full life cycle of products shall be considered, which may include the impact on climate change, impact on nature and biodiversity, energy and resource consumption, generation of waste, emissions to all environmental media, pollution through physical effects and use and release of substances of potential risk to the environment, as defined by Community legislation. The existing Ecolabel criteria for the different product groups shall be reviewed within ...* to ensure their full compliance with the life cycle approach outlined in this Article.

* 18 months after the adoption of this Regulation.

Justification

In most cases, the current Ecolabel criteria for product groups do not reflect a true life cycle approach as described in this Article. In addition Recital (4) requires that the criteria should be limited to the most significant environmental aspects of products. Therefore the Commission must urgently review the current criteria for all product groups to ensure that they are in line with these approaches and principles. Existing legislation such as REACH adequately covers risk management if chemicals and is amongst others, aimed at reducing their environmental impact.

Amendment  15

Proposal for a regulation

Article 6 – paragraph 3

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

3. The Ecolabel criteria shall set out the environmental requirements that a product must fulfil in order to bear the Ecolabel.

3. The Ecolabel criteria shall set out the environmental requirements that a product must fulfil, during its full life cycle, in order to bear the Ecolabel, taking into account the latest technological developments as well as the technical and economic feasibility of adaptations needed to comply with the requirements within a reasonable period of time.

Justification

The criteria which products must comply with in order to bear the Ecolabel have to be trustworthy. This can only happen if they are based on a solid scientific basis and if they regularly take into account up-to-date technological developments. Those criteria have also to take into account, as far as possible, all resources consumed and all environmental and health implications that are associated with the complete life cycle of a product (good or service).

Amendment  16

Proposal for a regulation

Article 6 – paragraph 6

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

6. The Ecolabel criteria shall take into account the criteria established for other environmental labels where they exist for that product group.

6. The Ecolabel criteria shall take into account the criteria established for other environmental labels where they exist for that product group so as to enhance synergies. For products covered by existing Community legislation on labelling, Ecolabel criteria shall always correspond to the highest environmental requirements.

Justification

The Ecolabel constitutes an award of excellence. Subsequently, though it is desirable to avoid unnecessary administrative burdens by taking into consideration criteria already fixed within the framework of existing legislation, it is also important that these criteria correspond to the highest environmental requirements.

Amendment  17

Proposal for a regulation

Article 7 – paragraph 1 – subparagraph 2

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

Following consultation of the EUEB, Member States, competent bodies and other stakeholders may also initiate and lead the development or revision of the Ecolabel criteria.

Following consultation of the EUEB, Member States, competent bodies and other stakeholders, showing neutrality, objectivity and a balanced view of the industry, may also initiate and lead the development or revision of the Ecolabel criteria.

Justification

The Ecolabel criteria must be sufficiently market oriented in order to succeed in diffusing products and services with the best environmental performance in the Community market. This can be achieved through a fair and transparent procedure involving all stakeholders and taking into account the industry’s views.

Amendment  18

Proposal for a regulation

Article 7 – paragraph 3

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

3. Where criteria are developed for processed food other than the products of aquaculture, those criteria shall relate only to processing, transport or packaging.

deleted

Justification

The exclusion of food from the existing Regulation aims to avoid conflicts with existing EU food legislation, as well as consumer confusion. It is also in line with the life-cycle principle, a parameter of paramount importance in the present Regulation. The Commission shall facilitate the development of an Ecolabel for the environmental performance of processed and unprocessed food products, covering the full product life-cycle, taking into account the specificities of this product group.

Amendment  19

Proposal for a regulation

Article 7 a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

Article 7a

The working plan

 

1. The Commission shall prepare and publish a Community eco-label working plan within one year from the entry into force of this Regulation, following prior consultation of the EUEB.

 

2. The working plan shall include a strategy for the development of the Ecolabel scheme as well as a non-exhaustive list of products which will be considered as priorities for Community action.

 

3. The working plan shall be reviewed periodically.

Justification

The working plan will facilitate the cooperation of the Commission with the EUEB, while at the same time will ensure that strategic decision making and planning is in place.

Amendment  20

Proposal for a regulation

Article 8 – paragraph 1

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

1. The Commission shall, following consultation of the EUEB, adopt measures to establish specific Ecolabel criteria for each product group.

1. The Commission shall adopt measures to establish specific Ecolabel criteria for each product group.

 

Draft ecolabel criteria shall be developed in accordance with the procedure laid down in Annex I and by taking into consideration the working plan referred to in Article 7a. No later than three months after the final report referred to in point 3 of Part A of Annex I has been submitted to the Commission, the EUEB shall be consulted on the document containing the proposed criteria. The Commission shall provide justification and documentation on the reasoning underlying any changes to the criteria submitted in the final report.

 

No later than three months after consultation of the EUEB, the Commission shall submit an Ecolabel criteria proposal to the Committee established under Article 16 and shall subsequently adopt measures to establish specific Ecolabel criteria for each product group. The Commission shall take into account the comments of the EUEB and shall provide justification and documentation on the reasoning underlying any changes to the proposal after the EUEB consultation.

Those measures, designed to amend non-essential elements of this Regulation, by supplementing it, shall be adopted in accordance with the regulatory procedure with scrutiny referred to in Article 16(2).

Those measures, designed to amend non-essential elements of this Regulation, by supplementing it, shall be adopted in accordance with the regulatory procedure with scrutiny referred to in Article 16(2).

Justification

The establishment of deadlines aims to address the failures of the Commission's Inter-service consultation to reach without delay agreements on the setting or revision of the Ecolabel criteria. This is crucial for the purposes of the proposed Regulation to include more categories of products.

Amendment  21

Proposal for a regulation

Article 8 – paragraph 2 – point b

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(b) indicate, where appropriate, the three key environmental characteristics that shall be placed on the Ecolabel;

(b) indicate, where appropriate, the three key environmental characteristics that may be placed on the Ecolabel;

Justification

It is of paramount importance that a mechanism is foreseen to take account of the continuous improvement of products, also within the period of validity of the Ecolabel criteria. Currently the product criteria are set for long periods (e.g. 3 years) and are inflexible; it is difficult to even make minor changes to formulation to include new, more sustainable ingredients and to adapt to technical progress without having to go through the whole process of re-applying for the Ecolabel.

Amendment  22

Proposal for a regulation

Article 8 – paragraph 2 – point c

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(c) specify the period of validity of the criteria and of the assessment requirements.

(c) specify the period, not exceeding two years, of validity of the criteria and of the assessment requirements.

Justification

It is of paramount importance that a mechanism is foreseen to take account of the continuous improvement of products, also within the period of validity of the Ecolabel criteria. Currently the product criteria are set for long periods (e.g. 3 years) and are inflexible; it is difficult to even make minor changes to formulation to include new, more sustainable ingredients and to adapt to technical progress without having to go through the whole process of re-applying for the Ecolabel.

Amendment  23

Proposal for a regulation

Article 8 – paragraph 2 – point c a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

(ca) specify the maximum degree of   product change permitted during the period of validity of the criteria.

Justification

Ensuring that the criteria carry a degree of flexibility and that they do not have to be redefined every time that a group of products undergoes a small change is of paramount importance.

Amendment  24

Proposal for a regulation

Article 9 – paragraph 1

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

1. In order to use the Ecolabel, manufacturers, importers, service providers, wholesalers or retailers who wish to use the Ecolabel shall register with one of the competent bodies referred to in Article 4 in accordance with the following rules:

1. In order to use the Ecolabel, manufacturers, importers, service providers, wholesalers or retailers who wish to use the Ecolabel shall register with one of the competent bodies referred to in Article 4 in any of the Member States in which the product has been or is to be placed on the market.

(a) where a product originates in a single Member State, the registration shall be made with the competent body of that Member State;

 

(b) where a product originates in the same form in several Member States, the registration may be made with a competent body in one of those Member States;

 

(c) where a product originates outside the Community, the registration shall be made with a competent body in any of the Member States in which the product is to be or has been placed on the market.

 

The Ecolabel shall have one of the forms depicted in Annex II.

The Ecolabel shall have one of the forms depicted in Annex II.

The Ecolabel may only be used in connection with products covered by a registration and complying with the Ecolabel criteria applicable to the products concerned.

The Ecolabel may only be used in connection with products covered by a registration and complying with the Ecolabel criteria applicable to the products concerned.

Justification

This amendment aims to simplify registration by indicating that it shall (irrespective of where a product originates) be made with a competent body in any MS where the product is to be or has been placed on the market. The Commission proposal provides products originating outside the EU with an advantage compared to EU products: the former may register with a competent body in any MS in which the product is to be or has been placed on the market, whereas the latter must register in the MS from which the product originates. This amendment would rectify this anomaly and treat all products equally.

Amendment  25

Proposal for a regulation

Article 9 – paragraph 3

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

3. The competent body to which an application for registration is made may charge a fee of up to € 200 for processing the registration. If a fee is charged, the use of the Ecolabel shall be conditional upon the fee having been paid in due time.

3. The competent body to which an application for registration is made may charge a fee of up to 1000 EUR, proportionate to the size of the enterprise, for processing the registration. This fee shall be based on:

 

(a) the cost incurred in connection with the provision of information and assistance to enterprises by the competent bodies and

 

(b) the cost of administering the registration process.

 

Member States may decide, as a means of promoting the scheme, not to charge any fees. If a fee is charged, the use of the Ecolabel shall be conditional upon the fee having been paid in due time.

Justification

The proposed fee of up to € 200 is undoubtedly too low and unable to cover even the cost of registration. It is also unfair, since it treats all enterprises equally regardless of their size. Finally, it deprives the member states from a source of revenue that could be used for promoting the Ecolabel and maintaining the scheme in general. Member States should be left free to adopt a cost-efficient fee level, or even to dispense applicants altogether from this obligation.

Amendment  26

Proposal for a regulation

Article 9 – paragraph 4

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

4. Within two month of receipt of an application for registration, the competent body concerned shall check the documentation referred to in paragraph 2.

4. Within two month of receipt of an application for registration, the competent body concerned shall verify the documentation referred to in paragraph 2, as well as the product's compliance with the criteria adopted by the Commission under Article 8.

Provided that the documentation is complete, the competent body shall assign a registration number to each product.

Provided that the documentation is approved, that the product complies with the criteria and that the registration conforms to the assessment and verification requirements, the competent body shall assign a registration number to each product. The competent body shall conclude its approval procedure within four months of the date of the application.

Justification

One of the major advantages of the current regulation has been its high degree of credibility, which should not be endangered by abolishing the verification and assessment procedures prior to the award of the Ecolabel for the sake of flexibility. This has been ensured till now by a third party verification.

Amendment  27

Proposal for a regulation

Article 9 – paragraph 6

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

6. The competent body which has registered a product shall notify each registration to the Commission. The Commission shall establish a common register and update it regularly. That register shall be publicly available.

6. The competent body which has registered a product shall notify each registration to the Commission. The Commission shall establish a common register and update it regularly. That register shall be publicly available in a web-portal dedicated to the Ecolabel.

Justification

Recognition of the Ecolabel can increase by means of transparency, visibility and availability of information in a user-friendly web-portal.

Amendment  28

Proposal for a regulation

Article 9 – paragraph 7

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

7. The Ecolabel may be used on the products covered by the registration and on their associated promotional material.

7. The Ecolabel may be used on the products covered by the registration and on their associated promotional material. The location of the Ecolabel shall be prominent and shall define the product concerned even if it is purchased along with other products.

Amendment  29

Proposal for a regulation

Article 9 – paragraph 10

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

10. Where the Ecolabel is placed on processed food other than the products of aquaculture that do not fulfil the requirements of Regulation (EC) No 834/2007, it shall be supplemented by an indication in the same visual field to the effect that the label relates only to the environmental performance of processing, transport or packaging of the product.

deleted

The first subparagraph shall also apply to processed food labelled in accordance with Article 24 of Regulation (EC) No 834/2007.

 

Justification

The exclusion of food from the existing Regulation aims to avoid conflicts with existing EU food legislation, as well as consumer confusion. It is also in line with the life-cycle principle, a parameter of paramount importance in the present Regulation. The Commission shall facilitate the development of an Ecolabel for the environmental performance of processed and unprocessed food products, covering the full product life-cycle, taking into account the specificities of this product group.

Amendment  30

Proposal for a regulation

Article 10 – paragraph 2 - subparagraph 1

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

2. The competent body which has registered the product shall proceed to verifications on a regular basis, or upon complaint, in relation to registrations made with them. Those verifications may take the form of random spot checks.

2. The competent body which has registered the product shall proceed to verifications on a regular basis, or upon complaint, in relation to registrations made with them. Those verifications may take the form of random spot checks. The Commission shall ensure that the competent bodies undertake spot checks on a regular basis. The Member States shall provide the competent bodies with all the necessary means to carry out these checks.

Justification

The proper functioning of the competent bodies is highly dependent on the available resources provided to them by Member States.

Amendment  31

Proposal for a regulation

Article 10 a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

Article 10a

 

Small and medium-sized enterprises

 

In order to protect small and medium-sized enterprises, the Commission shall:

 

(a) ensure that the information offices to be set up under the forthcoming Small Business Act are also assigned the task of providing information about the ecolabelling scheme; and

 

(b) actively promote the approximation of different labelling schemes.

Justification

It is very important to take account of SMEs' administrative burdens and, accordingly, endeavour to reduce them as much as possible.

Amendment  32

Proposal for a regulation

Article 11 – paragraph 1 a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

The co-existence of the Community Ecolabel with the national Ecolabel schemes shall be ensured by means of exchange of best practices. Moreover, the Community Ecolabel scheme may promote the ecolabelled products in the relevant national markets and may facilitate the entering of ecolabelled products into the markets of other Member States.

Amendment  33

Proposal for a regulation

Article 12

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

Member States and the Commission shall, in cooperation with the EUEB, promote the use of the Community Ecolabel by awareness-raising actions and information campaigns for consumers, producers, public purchasers, traders, retailers and the general public, thus supporting the development of the scheme.

Member States and the Commission shall, in cooperation with the EUEB, promote the use of the Community Ecolabel by awareness-raising actions, information campaigns for consumers, producers, public purchasers, traders, retailers and the general public and the dissemination of information from the dedicated Ecolabel web-portal, thus supporting the development of the scheme. Whilst the marketing of the Ecolabel scheme shall remain a national competence so as to better reflect the consumer preferences of each Member State, a common marketing expertise shall be put in place to provide guidance, and coordination, to promote exchange of best practices, and to develop concrete action plans at Community level.

 

The public sector shall be more involved in the promotion of the Ecolabel scheme, both as a leader in setting the example for the attainment of the Community's environmental targets, and as a consumer. Therefore, when the Community institutions and national public authorities purchase, by means of public procurement, products for which ecolabel criteria exist, those products shall as a minimum meet the requirements of the Community Ecolabel scheme.

Justification

The marketing campaigns should be adjusted to the specific needs of each market, so as to be more effective. Public procurement can be a very efficient tool in promoting ecolabelled products, not only by permitting a Member State to set the example to the consumers, but also by giving a decisive boost to market demand for environmentally friendly products.

Amendment  34

Proposal for a regulation

Annex I - point 5

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

A user manual providing guidance for the use of the Ecolabel criteria to authorities awarding public contracts shall be established.

A user manual translated into all official Community languages providing guidance for the use of the Ecolabel criteria to authorities awarding public contracts shall be established.

Note: The Commission will provide templates for the user manual for applicants and competent bodies and for the user manual for authorities awarding public contracts.

Note: The Commission will provide templates translated into all official Community languages for the user manual for applicants and competent bodies and for the user manual for authorities awarding public contracts

Justification

A translation of the user manual as well as of the templates will facilitate the application procedure that businesses have to undergo in order to obtain the Ecolabel.

Amendment  35

Proposal for a regulation

Annex II – paragraph 4 a (new) (at the end of Annex II)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

The lettering on the Ecolabel shall be determined by the competent bodies of each Member State using the official language or languages of that Member State in such a way that the text is equivalent to the English original.

PROCEDURE

Title

Community ecolabel scheme

References

COM(2008)0401 – C6-0279/2008 – 2008/0152(COD)

Committee responsible

ENVI

Opinion by

       Date announced in plenary

ITRE

2.9.2008

 

 

 

Drafts(wo)man

       Date appointed

Nikolaos Vakalis

25.9.2008

 

 

Discussed in committee

13.11.2008

11.12.2008

 

 

Date adopted

20.1.2009

 

 

 

Result of final vote

+:

–:

0:

47

0

0

Members present for the final vote

Šarūnas Birutis, Jan Březina, Jerzy Buzek, Jorgo Chatzimarkakis, Giles Chichester, Dragoş Florin David, Den Dover, Lena Ek, Nicole Fontaine, Adam Gierek, Norbert Glante, Fiona Hall, Erna Hennicot-Schoepges, Mary Honeyball, Ján Hudacký, Romana Jordan Cizelj, Werner Langen, Anne Laperrouze, Pia Elda Locatelli, Patrick Louis, Eluned Morgan, Angelika Niebler, Atanas Paparizov, Aldo Patriciello, Francisca Pleguezuelos Aguilar, Anni Podimata, Miloslav Ransdorf, Vladimír Remek, Herbert Reul, Teresa Riera Madurell, Mechtild Rothe, Paul Rübig, Patrizia Toia, Catherine Trautmann, Claude Turmes, Nikolaos Vakalis, Alejo Vidal-Quadras, Dominique Vlasto

Substitute(s) present for the final vote

Pilar Ayuso, Juan Fraile Cantón, Matthias Groote, Françoise Grossetête, Edit Herczog, Vittorio Prodi, Esko Seppänen, Silvia-Adriana Ţicău, Vladimir Urutchev


OPINION of the Committee on the Internal Market and Consumer Protection (23.1.2009)

for the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety

on the proposal for a regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on a Community Ecolabel scheme

(COM(2008)0401 – C6‑0279/2008 – 2008/0152(COD))

Rapporteur: Edit Herczog

SHORT JUSTIFICATION

The overall objective of the Regulation on a Community Ecolabel Scheme is to encourage sustainable production and consumption of products as well as sustainable provision and use of services. A voluntary scheme, the Ecolabel set out to guide consumers towards the top performers in the market. Your rapporteur for this opinion welcomes the Commission’s proposal to revise the Ecolabel scheme and the efforts to address shortcomings of the current system.

The Ecolabel is part of the Action Plan on Sustainable Consumption and Production and Sustainable Industrial Policy. Underlining the general importance of the Action Plan, your rapporteur fully supports the general objectives of the proposal on the Ecolabel. In this context, efforts to strengthen the current scheme by making it less costly and bureaucratic and better known are welcome. It is also important to encourage harmonisation with other Ecolabel schemes in order to ensure consistency and prevent fragmentation within the Internal Market.

Your rapporteur welcomes the abolition of the annual fees, which is particularly important for SMEs. The introduction of a template for criteria documents to make them more user-friendly is likewise important, but your rapporteur would like to emphasise that it is not sufficient to revise the “form” of the criteria without reviewing their actual content.

However, the revision of the Ecolabel scheme seems to be a mainly administrative and procedural exercise, and does not address the flaws in the principles underpinning the existing Ecolabel criteria for products. In most cases, the current criteria do not reflect a true life cycle approach. It is the view of your rapporteur that the criteria should address not only the final products but also issues such as the manufacturing process, consumption patters, consumer behaviour and climate change. Hence, a fundamental revision of the current product criteria to reflect a broader view of sustainability and a true life cycle perspective is necessary. It is also important that the Ecolabel scheme is consistent with existing EU legislation (REACH, Classification and Labelling Regulation) and not to seek to adopt divergent approaches. Moreover, it is of vital importance that the development of criteria is based on scientific evidence.

The current proposal seems to provide products originating from outside the EU with an advantage compared to EU products. While the former may register with a competent body in any of the Member States in which the product is to be or has been placed on the market, the latter must register in the Member State from which the product originates.

Your rapporteur regrets that the Commission, in proposing to extend the Ecolabel scheme to a limited fraction of food and drink products, only wishes to consider a few restricted stages in their lifecycle, namely processing, transport and packaging. The critical environmental impacts of food and drink products arise at the agricultural production stage and at the consumption stage, and it is incomprehensible how both of these significant life-cycle stages are excluded from the assessment by the Commission. It is equally incomprehensible why processed food should fall under the scope of the eco-label scheme while fresh food would be excluded. This is why your rapporteur believes that existing exemption of all food and drinks from the Regulation should be maintained.

Currently there are significant differences in approach and interpretation between the authorities, leading to a fragmentation of the internal market. Hence, it is important to ensure harmonisation of the process and timing of the treatment of applications for the Ecolabel through national competent bodies.

It is also important to have a mechanism to take account of the continuous improvement of products. Currently the product criteria are set for long periods (e.g. 3 years) and are inflexible. Hence, it is difficult to change formulations slightly to include e.g. new, more sustainable ingredients and to adapt to technical progress without having to go through the whole process of re-applying for the eco-label.

Finally, it is important to step up efforts to promote the Ecolabel towards consumers, notably also by establishing a European official internet site presenting all relevant information and practices.

Your rapporteur strongly believes that because the consumers have the power to change consumption patterns and demand more sustainable choices, it’s vital to help them be able to exercise this power. The current proposal is an important tool to this end, and the suggested amendments would further strengthen it.

AMENDMENTS

The Committee on the Internal Market and Consumer Protection calls on the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety, as the committee responsible, to incorporate the following amendments in its report:

Amendment  1

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 4

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(4) The Community Ecolabel scheme is part of the sustainable consumption and production policy of the Community, which aims at reducing the negative impact of consumption and production on the environment, health and natural resources. The scheme is intended to promote those products which have a high level of environmental performance through the use of the Ecolabel. To this effect, it is appropriate to require that the criteria which products must comply with in order to bear the Ecolabel be based on the best environmental performance achieved by products on the Community market. Those criteria should be simple to understand and to use and should therefore be limited to the most significant environmental impacts of products.

(4) The Community Ecolabel scheme is part of the sustainable consumption and production policy of the Community, which aims at reducing the negative impact of consumption and production on the environment, health and natural resources. The scheme is intended to promote those products which have a high level of environmental performance through the use of the Ecolabel. To this effect, it is appropriate to require that the criteria which products must comply with in order to bear the Ecolabel be based on the best environmental performance achieved by products on the Community market. Those criteria should be simple to understand and to use and should therefore be limited to the most significant environmental impacts of products during their full lifecycle, including the phases of both manufacturing and use.

Justification

The full life cycle of the products needs to be taken into account when setting the Ecolabel criteria.

Amendment  2

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 4 a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

(4a) The Ecolabel scheme should take into account existing Community legislation so as to avoid divergent approaches to safety assessment.

Justification

The Ecolabel Regulation should not lead to the European Community adopting differing approaches to the safety assessment, management and use of chemicals, covered today by REACH and the Classification and Labelling Directive. Existing legislation should prevail.

Amendment  3

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 7 a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

(7a) In order to increase the use of the Community Ecolabel system in future revisions of this Regulation, there will be a need for a definite shift from the 10% best performing products criteria to the introduction of a gradation system in each product category to help consumers to make sustainable consumption choices and to create incentives to manufacturers to constantly improve their offer.

Justification

For the real spread of the use of the Community Ecolabel the" system of the 10% best" is considered not being enough effective. Every product from all the product groups should have the possibility to apply for the label and have it on the product and according to a grading system, grade 'A' or 'B' or 'C' would indicate its environmental performance.

Amendment  4

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 9

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(9) It is necessary to raise public awareness of the Community Ecolabel through promotion actions in order to make consumers aware of the meaning of the label and to enable them to make informed choices.

(9) It is necessary to raise public awareness of the Community Ecolabel through promotion actions, information and education campaigns, in order to make consumers aware of the meaning of the label and to enable them to make informed choices.

Justification

Information and education campaigns are important means of communication to make consumers more familiar with the Ecolabel in the immediate future.

Amendment  5

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 10

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(10) In order to facilitate the marketing of products bearing environmental labels at national and Community level and to avoid confusing consumers, it is also necessary to enhance the coherence between the Community Ecolabel scheme and national Ecolabel schemes in the Community.

(10) In order to facilitate the marketing of products bearing environmental labels at national and Community level and to avoid confusing consumers, it is also necessary to enhance coherence between the Community Ecolabel scheme and national Ecolabel schemes in the Community, as well as to create an official EU internet site gathering together all EU ecolabelling information and practices for the information of consumers and available in all official languages of the Community. In addition, products bearing the Community or national Ecolabel should be promoted on national markets.

Amendment  6

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 10 a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(10a) It should be recognised that, although national ecolabels have proved able to create awareness among consumers, the objective of this Regulation is to establish a Community Ecolabel in the long term that will replace national and regional ecolabels.

Justification

The Ecolabel is the only formal scheme for the entire internal market. Existing national or regional ecolabel schemes cover the internal market only in part. The new Regulation has the intention to extend the use of the Ecolabel to avoid the proliferation of environmental labelling schemes.

Amendment  7

Proposal for a regulation

Article 6 - paragraph 2

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

2. The environmental performance of products shall be determined on the basis of the best performing products on the Community market. To this end, the most significant environmental impacts during the life cycle of products, in particular the impact on climate change, impact on nature and biodiversity, energy and resource consumption, generation of waste, emissions to all environmental media, pollution through physical effects and use and release of hazardous substances, shall be considered.

2. The environmental performance of products shall be determined on the basis of the best performing products on the Community market. To this end the most significant, scientifically proven environmental impacts during the full life cycle of products shall be considered, which may include the impact on climate change, impact on nature and biodiversity, energy and resource consumption, generation of waste, emissions to all environmental media, pollution through physical effects and use and release of substances. By ...*, the existing Ecolabel criteria for the different product groups shall be reviewed to ensure their full compliance with the life cycle approach outlined in this Article.

 

___________

* 18 months from the date of entry into force of this Regulation.

Justification

In most cases, the current Ecolabel criteria for product groups do not reflect a true life cycle approach as described in this Article. In addition Recital (4) requires that the criteria should be limited to the most significant environmental aspects of products. Therefore the Commission must urgently review the current criteria for all product groups to ensure that they are in line with these approaches and principles.

Existing legislation such as REACH adequately covers risk management if chemicals and is amongst others, aimed at reducing their environmental impact.

Amendment  8

Proposal for a regulation

Article 8 - paragraph 2 - points b and c

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(b) indicate, where appropriate, the three key environmental characteristics that shall be placed on the Ecolabel;

(b) indicate, where appropriate, the three key environmental characteristics that may be placed on the Ecolabel;

(c) specify the period of validity of the criteria and of the assessment requirements.

(c) specify the period of validity of the criteria and of the assessment requirements, which shall not exceed two years;

 

(ca) specify the degree of product variability allowed during the period of validity.

Justification

It is of paramount importance that a mechanism is foreseen to take account of the continuous improvement of products, also within the period of validity of the Ecolabel criteria. Currently the product criteria are set for long periods (e.g. 3 years) and are inflexible; it is difficult to even make minor changes to formulation to include new, more sustainable ingredients and to adapt to technical progress without having to go through the whole process of re-applying for the Ecolabel.

Amendment  9

Proposal for a regulation

Article 9 - paragraph 1 - subparagraph 1

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

1. In order to use the Ecolabel, manufacturers, importers, service providers, wholesalers or retailers who wish to use the Ecolabel shall register with one of the competent bodies referred to in Article 4 in accordance with the following rules:

1. In order to use the Ecolabel, manufacturers, importers, service providers, wholesalers or retailers who wish to use the Ecolabel shall register with one of the competent bodies referred to in Article 4 in any of the Member States in which the product is to be or has been placed on the market.

(a) where a product originates in a single Member State, the registration shall be made with the competent body of that Member State;

 

(b) where a product originates in the same form in several Member States, the registration may be made with a competent body in one of those Member States;

 

(c) where a product originates outside the Community, the registration shall be made with a competent body in any of the Member States in which the product is to be or has been placed on the market.

 

Justification

This amendment aims to simplify the registration by indicating that the registration shall (irrespective of where the product originates from) be made with a competent body in any of the Member States where the product is to be or has been placed on the market.

The Commission’s proposal provides products originating from outside the EU with an advantage compared to EU products: the former may register with a competent body in any of the Member States in which the product is to be or has been placed on the market, whereas the latter must register in the Member State from which the product originates. This amendment would rectify this anomaly and treat all products in an equal way.

Amendment  10

Proposal for a regulation

Article 9 - paragraph 4 - subparagraph 2

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

Provided that the documentation is complete, the competent body shall assign a registration number to each product.

Provided that the documentation is approved, the competent body shall assign a registration number to each product. The competent body shall conclude its procedure within four months of the date of the application.

Amendment  11

Proposal for a regulation

Article 9 – paragraph 3

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

The competent body to which an application for registration is made may charge a fee of up to € 200 for processing the registration. If a fee is charged, the use of the Ecolabel shall be conditional upon the fee having been paid in due time.

The competent body to which an application for registration is made may charge a fee of up to EUR 1000, proportionate to the size of the enterprise, for processing the registration. This fee shall be based on:

(a) costs incurred in connection with the provision of information and assistance to enterprises by the competent body;

(b) the cost of administering the registration process.

Member States may decide, as a means of promoting the scheme, not to charge a fee. If a fee is charged, the use of the Ecolabel shall be conditional upon the fee having been paid in due time.

Justification

There are still only 26 products groups established and around 500 companies producing Ecolabel products in the EU. The current scheme suffers from low awareness of the label and low uptake by industry. In order to encourage companies, and especially SMEs, the registration fee should not exceed EUR 100.

Amendment  12

Proposal for a regulation

Article 9 - paragraph 7

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

7. The Ecolabel may be used on the products covered by the registration and on their associated promotional material.

7. The Ecolabel may be used on the products covered by the registration and on their associated promotional material. The location of the Ecolabel shall be prominent and shall define the product concerned even if it is purchased along with other products.

Amendment  13

Proposal for a regulation

Article 12

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

Member States and the Commission shall, in cooperation with the EUEB, promote the use of the Community Ecolabel by awareness-raising actions and information campaigns for consumers, producers, public purchasers, traders, retailers and the general public, thus supporting the development of the scheme.

Member States and the Commission shall, in cooperation with the EUEB, promote the use of the Community Ecolabel by awareness-raising actions and information campaigns for consumers, producers, public purchasers, traders, retailers and the general public, thus supporting the development of the scheme, and, in addition, promote more general environmental education measures for the public at large in order to help create environmental awareness among consumers and enhance dissemination and recognition of the Community Ecolabel.

Amendment  14

Proposal for a regulation

Article 15 – paragraph 1

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

The Commission may increase the maximum fee provided for in Article 9(3) and amend the Annexes.

The Commission may only increase the maximum fee provided for in Article 9(3) and amend the Annexes as long as the increase is to cover the costs of registration.

Justification

It is unclear to what extent the Commission may increase the maximum and under what circumstances. To avoid any uncertainty in this manner, the maximum fee may only be increased to cover the actual costs for processing the registration

Amendment  15

Proposal for a regulation

Annex II - paragraph 4 a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

The lettering on the Ecolabel shall be determined by the competent bodies of each Member State using the official language or languages of that Member State in such a way that the text is equivalent to the English original.

PROCEDURE

Title

Community ecolabel scheme

References

COM(2008)0401 – C6-0279/2008 – 2008/0152(COD)

Committee responsible

ENVI

Opinion by

       Date announced in plenary

IMCO

2.9.2008

 

 

 

Drafts(wo)man

       Date appointed

Edit Herczog

10.9.2008

 

 

Discussed in committee

6.11.2008

2.12.2008

22.1.2009

 

Date adopted

22.1.2009

 

 

 

Result of final vote

+:

–:

0:

34

0

0

Members present for the final vote

Cristian Silviu Buşoi, Charlotte Cederschiöld, Janelly Fourtou, Evelyne Gebhardt, Martí Grau i Segú, Malcolm Harbour, Christopher Heaton-Harris, Iliana Malinova Iotova, Alexander Graf Lambsdorff, Kurt Lechner, Toine Manders, Nickolay Mladenov, Catherine Neris, Zita Pleštinská, Karin Riis-Jørgensen, Zuzana Roithová, Heide Rühle, Leopold Józef Rutowicz, Christel Schaldemose, Andreas Schwab, Eva-Britt Svensson, Marianne Thyssen, Bernadette Vergnaud, Barbara Weiler

Substitute(s) present for the final vote

Emmanouil Angelakas, Wolfgang Bulfon, Colm Burke, Giovanna Corda, Brigitte Fouré, Joel Hasse Ferreira, Filip Kaczmarek, Olle Schmidt

Substitute(s) under Rule 178(2) present for the final vote

Jean-Pierre Audy, Michel Teychenné


PROCEDURE

Title

Community ecolabel scheme

References

COM(2008)0401 – C6-0279/2008 – 2008/0152(COD)

Date submitted to Parliament

16.7.2008

Committee responsible

       Date announced in plenary

ENVI

2.9.2008

Committee(s) asked for opinion(s)

       Date announced in plenary

ITRE

2.9.2008

IMCO

2.9.2008

 

 

Rapporteur(s)

       Date appointed

Salvatore Tatarella

17.9.2008

 

 

Discussed in committee

21.1.2009

 

 

 

Date adopted

17.2.2009

 

 

 

Result of final vote

+:

–:

0:

51

0

2

Members present for the final vote

Adamos Adamou, Margrete Auken, Liam Aylward, Irena Belohorská, Maria Berger, Johannes Blokland, John Bowis, Hiltrud Breyer, Martin Callanan, Dorette Corbey, Magor Imre Csibi, Avril Doyle, Mojca Drčar Murko, Jill Evans, Matthias Groote, Satu Hassi, Christa Klaß, Holger Krahmer, Urszula Krupa, Aldis Kušķis, Marie-Noëlle Lienemann, Peter Liese, Marios Matsakis, Linda McAvan, Péter Olajos, Miroslav Ouzký, Vittorio Prodi, Dagmar Roth-Behrendt, Guido Sacconi, Daciana Octavia Sârbu, Carl Schlyter, Richard Seeber, María Sornosa Martínez, Salvatore Tatarella, Antonios Trakatellis, Evangelia Tzampazi, Thomas Ulmer, Anja Weisgerber, Åsa Westlund, Anders Wijkman, Glenis Willmott

Substitute(s) present for the final vote

Philip Bushill-Matthews, Bairbre de Brún, Jutta Haug, Karsten Friedrich Hoppenstedt, Johannes Lebech, Caroline Lucas, Miroslav Mikolášik, Hartmut Nassauer, Justas Vincas Paleckis, Alojz Peterle, Renate Sommer

Substitute(s) under Rule 178(2) present for the final vote

Domenico Antonio Basile

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