Parliamentary questions
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6 March 2020
Question for oral answer  O-000025/2020
to the Council
Rule 136
Cristian-Silviu Buşoi, Günther Sidl, Jan Huitema, Michèle Rivasi, Simona Baldassarre, Joanna Kopcińska, Kateřina Konečná
on behalf of the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety
 Subject: Strategic approach to pharmaceuticals in the environment

On 11 March 2019, the European Commission adopted its communication on a European Union Strategic Approach to Pharmaceuticals in the Environment (COM(2019)128).

Article 8c of the Priority Substances Directive requires that this strategic approach should be followed up, where appropriate, by proposals for measures to be taken at Union and/or Member State level to address the possible environmental impacts of pharmaceutical substances, with a view to reducing discharges, emissions and losses of such substances into the aquatic environment, taking into account public health needs and the cost-effectiveness of the measures proposed. To be effective and spread efforts evenly, measures should not only include end-of-pipe controls (e.g. improved waste water treatment) but also address the original sources of emissions (e.g. production and use), and consider the terrestrial as well as the aquatic environment.

This Communication sets out six areas for action, and several specific measures: increasing awareness and promoting prudent use of pharmaceuticals, supporting the development of pharmaceuticals intrinsically less harmful for the environment and promoting greener manufacturing, improving environmental risk assessment and its review, reducing wastage and improving the management of waste, expanding environmental monitoring and filling other knowledge gaps.

In its conclusions of June 2019, the Council stressed the need for ‘the Commission to assess and define the most effective measures, including legislative measures, to mitigate the effects of pharmaceuticals in the environment, to combat the development of antimicrobial resistance, and to reinforce the link with the health sector in this regard’.

1. What is the Council’s position concerning the strategic approach and the actions put forward by the Commission?

2. What legislative and non-legislative measures is the Council intending to support in order to reduce the risk from pharmaceuticals in the environment?

Submitted: 06/03/2020

Lapses: 07/06/2020

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