Procedure : 2016/0021(NLE)
Document stages in plenary
Document selected : A8-0067/2017

Texts tabled :

A8-0067/2017

Debates :

Votes :

PV 27/04/2017 - 5.3

Texts adopted :

P8_TA(2017)0134

RECOMMENDATION     ***
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22.3.2017
PE 601.084v02-00 A8-0067/2017

on the draft Council decision on the conclusion on behalf of the European Union of the Minamata Convention on Mercury

(05925/2017 – C8‑0102/2017 – 2016/0021(NLE))

Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety

Rapporteur: Stefan Eck

DRAFT EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT LEGISLATIVE RESOLUTION
 EXPLANATORY STATEMENT
 PROCEDURE – COMMITTEE RESPONSIBLE
 FINAL VOTE BY ROLL CALL IN COMMITTEE RESPONSIBLE

DRAFT EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT LEGISLATIVE RESOLUTION

on the draft Council decision on the conclusion on behalf of the European Union of the Minamata Convention on Mercury

(05925/2017 – C8‑0102/2017 – 2016/0021(NLE))

(Consent)

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to the draft Council decision (05925/2017),

–  having regard to the request for consent submitted by the Council in accordance with Article 192(1) and Article 218(6), second subparagraph, point (a), of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (C8‑0102/2017),

–  having regard to Rule 99(1) and (4) and Rule 108(7) of its Rules of Procedure,

–  having regard to the recommendation of the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety (A8-0067/2017),

1.  Gives its consent to conclusion of the Minamata Convention on Mercury;

2.  Instructs its President to forward its position to the Council, the Commission and the governments and parliaments of the Member States, and to the United Nations.


EXPLANATORY STATEMENT

The Minamata Convention on Mercury is a global treaty under the auspices of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). It is the main international legal framework for cooperation and measures to control and limit the use and anthropogenic emissions of mercury and mercury compounds to air, water and land. It aims to protect human health and the environment from all adverse effects of mercury. It was agreed on 19 January 2013 and adopted on 10 October 2013 in Kumamoto, Japan. The Convention is named after the Japanese coastal city of Minamata, which was the site of an environmental disaster first acknowledged in 1968, caused by decades of industrial water pollution with mercury.

Scientific evidence proves the acute toxicity of mercury, an element that can neither be destroyed nor disappear. With its immensely debilitating health impacts, mercury is among the world’s worst pollutants. According to the World Health Organisation, there are no safe limits for mercury. In aquatic systems, mercury can form the neurotoxic compound methylmercury, which is biomagnified in the food chain. Mercury exposure is a widespread health problem and may have toxic effects on the nervous, digestive and immune systems, and on lungs, kidneys, skin and eyes. Even small amounts of mercury can interfere with the nervous system.

Mercury is a global and ubiquitous metal that has broad uses in everyday objects. It is released to the atmosphere, soil and water from a variety of sources. Controlling the anthropogenic releases of mercury throughout its lifecycle has been a key factor in shaping the obligations under the Convention. The Minamata Convention addresses the whole life cycle of mercury. It provides i.a. for a ban on new and the phase-out of existing mercury mines, the phase-out and reduction of mercury use in a number of products and processes, control measures on emissions and releases, and the regulation of artisanal and small-scale gold mining. The Convention also addresses the storage of mercury, its disposal as waste, and mercury contaminated sites. Under the Minamata Convention, governments will be encouraged to take measures to manage the health impacts of mercury exposure.

Regulation (EC) No 1102/2008 on the banning of exports of metallic mercury and certain mercury compounds and mixtures and the safe storage of metallic mercury already paved the way for the Convention. This Regulation is repealed by the Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on Mercury, which was agreed between the Council and the Parliament on 14 December 2016, endorsed by COREPER on 16 December 2016 and adopted in Parliament on 14 March 2017. The Regulation on Mercury puts the provisions of the Minamata Convention that so far are not yet transposed into EU law and addresses several additional issues that are not fully regulated by the Convention.

In accordance with its Article 30, the Minamata Convention is subject to ratification, acceptance or approval by States and by regional economic integration organisations. The deposit of the instruments of ratification, acceptance or approval of the Minamata Convention by the EU and its Member States should take place collectively and in a coordinated fashion to make sure that the Convention enters into force for both the EU and its Members States at the same time. In order to bring about the necessary technical measures described above, the EU should ratify the Minamata Convention on Mercury as soon as possible. In light of the concluded negotiations and the adoption of the Regulation on Mercury, it is now the time to finalise the ratification of the Minamata Convention.

To this effect, the Council adopted a draft Council Decision on the conclusion of the Minamata Convention on Mercury, approving the Convention on behalf of the EU. The text of the Convention is attached to the Decision. The ratification of the Convention will be an important step towards a higher level of protection of human health and the environment from mercury. It will also allow the EU to take an active role in shaping a global mercury-free policy. The rapporteur therefore welcomes the draft Council Decision and proposes that Parliament give its consent.


PROCEDURE – COMMITTEE RESPONSIBLE

Title

Minamata Convention on Mercury

References

05925/2017 – C8-0102/2017 – COM(2016)00422016/0021(NLE)

Date of consultation / request for consent

7.3.2017

 

 

 

Committee responsible

       Date announced in plenary

ENVI

16.3.2017

 

 

 

Committees asked for opinions

       Date announced in plenary

INTA

16.3.2017

ITRE

16.3.2017

 

 

Not delivering opinions

       Date of decision

INTA

13.7.2016

ITRE

23.2.2016

 

 

Rapporteurs

       Date appointed

Stefan Eck

10.3.2016

 

 

 

Discussed in committee

20.3.2017

 

 

 

Date adopted

21.3.2017

 

 

 

Result of final vote

+:

–:

0:

54

2

1

Members present for the final vote

Marco Affronte, Margrete Auken, Pilar Ayuso, Zoltán Balczó, Ivo Belet, Biljana Borzan, Paul Brannen, Soledad Cabezón Ruiz, Nessa Childers, Birgit Collin-Langen, Mireille D’Ornano, Miriam Dalli, Seb Dance, Angélique Delahaye, Ian Duncan, Stefan Eck, Bas Eickhout, José Inácio Faria, Karl-Heinz Florenz, Francesc Gambús, Gerben-Jan Gerbrandy, Jens Gieseke, Julie Girling, Sylvie Goddyn, Françoise Grossetête, Jytte Guteland, György Hölvényi, Anneli Jäätteenmäki, Benedek Jávor, Josu Juaristi Abaunz, Karin Kadenbach, Kateřina Konečná, Urszula Krupa, Giovanni La Via, Peter Liese, Valentinas Mazuronis, Susanne Melior, Miroslav Mikolášik, Massimo Paolucci, Piernicola Pedicini, Pavel Poc, Julia Reid, Frédérique Ries, Michèle Rivasi, Annie Schreijer-Pierik, Davor Škrlec, Renate Sommer, Estefanía Torres Martínez, Nils Torvalds, Adina-Ioana Vălean, Damiano Zoffoli

Substitutes present for the final vote

Nicola Caputo, Stefano Maullu, Gesine Meissner

Substitutes under Rule 200(2) present for the final vote

Jan Keller, Arne Lietz, Elżbieta Katarzyna Łukacijewska

Date tabled

22.3.2017


FINAL VOTE BY ROLL CALL IN COMMITTEE RESPONSIBLE

54

+

ALDE

Gerben-Jan Gerbrandy, Anneli Jäätteenmäki, Valentinas Mazuronis, Gesine Meissner, Frédérique Ries, Nils Torvalds

ECR

Ian Duncan, Julie Girling, Urszula Krupa

EFDD

Piernicola Pedicini

GUE/NGL

Stefan Eck, Josu Juaristi Abaunz, Kateřina Konečná, Estefanía Torres Martínez

NI

Zoltán Balczó

PPE

Pilar Ayuso, Ivo Belet, Birgit Collin-Langen, Angélique Delahaye, José Inácio Faria, Karl-Heinz Florenz, Francesc Gambús, Jens Gieseke, Françoise Grossetête, György Hölvényi, Giovanni La Via, Peter Liese, Elżbieta Katarzyna Łukacijewska, Stefano Maullu, Miroslav Mikolášik, Annie Schreijer-Pierik, Renate Sommer, Adina-Ioana Vălean

S&D

Biljana Borzan, Paul Brannen, Soledad Cabezón Ruiz, Nicola Caputo, Nessa Childers, Miriam Dalli, Seb Dance, Jytte Guteland, Karin Kadenbach, Jan Keller, Arne Lietz, Susanne Melior, Massimo Paolucci, Pavel Poc, Damiano Zoffoli

Verts/ALE

Marco Affronte, Margrete Auken, Bas Eickhout, Benedek Jávor, Michèle Rivasi, Davor Škrlec

2

-

ENF

Mireille D'Ornano, Sylvie Goddyn

1

0

EFDD

Julia Reid

Key to symbols:

+  :  in favour

-  :  against

0  :  abstention

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