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REPORT     
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23 November 2001
PE 307.567 A5-0419/2001
on the Commission Green Paper on integrated product policy
(COM(2001) 68 - C5-0259/2001 - 2001/2117(COS))
Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Consumer Policy
Rapporteur: Cristina García-Orcoyen Tormo
PROCEDURAL PAGE
 MOTION FOR A RESOLUTION
 EXPLANATORY STATEMENT
 OPINION OF THE COMMITTEE ON INDUSTRY, EXTERNAL TRADE,
RESEARCH AND ENERGY

PROCEDURAL PAGE

By letter of 7 February 2001 the Commission forwarded to Parliament its Green Paper on integrated product policy (COM(2001) 68 - 2001/2117(COS)).

At the sitting of 2 July 2001 the President of Parliament announced that she had referred this Green Paper to the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Consumer Policy as the committee responsible and to the Committee on Industry, External Trade, Research and Energy for its opinion (C5-0259/2001).

The Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Consumer Policy had appointed Cristina García-Orcoyen Tormo rapporteur at its meeting of 12 March 2001.

It considered the Commission Green Paper and the draft report at its meetings of 26 June, 5 November and 21 November 2001.

At the last meeting it adopted the motion for a resolution by 24 votes to 0, with 17 abstentions.

The following were present for the vote: Caroline F. Jackson, chairman; Guido Sacconi and Alexander de Roo, vice-chairmen; Cristina García-Orcoyen Tormo, rapporteur; Per-Arne Arvidsson, María del Pilar Ayuso González, Hans Blokland, John Bowis, Martin Callanan, Dorette Corbey, Chris Davies, Nirj Deva (for Ria G.H.C. Oomen-Ruijten), Avril Doyle, Carlo Fatuzzo (for Jorge Moreira da Silva), Anne Ferreira, Marialiese Flemming, Karl-Heinz Florenz, Laura González Álvarez, Robert Goodwill, Françoise Grossetête, Cristina Gutiérrez Cortines, Heidi Anneli Hautala (for Hiltrud Breyer), Marie Anne Isler Béguin, Christa Klaß, Paul A.A.J.G. Lannoye (for Patricia McKenna), Riitta Myller, Giuseppe Nisticò, Marit Paulsen, Frédérique Ries, Dagmar Roth-Behrendt, Giacomo Santini, Karin Scheele, Ursula Schleicher (for Eija-Riitta Anneli Korhola), Horst Schnellhardt, Inger Schörling, Jonas Sjöstedt, Renate Sommer (for Peter Liese), María Sornosa Martínez, Catherine Stihler, Antonios Trakatellis, Kathleen Van Brempt (for David Robert Bowe) and Phillip Whitehead.

The opinion of the Committee on Industry, External Trade, Research and Energy is attached.

The report was tabled on 23 November 2001.

The deadline for tabling amendments will be indicated in the draft agenda for the relevant part-session.


MOTION FOR A RESOLUTION

European Parliament resolution on the Commission Green Paper on integrated product policy (COM(2001) 68 - C5-0259/2001 - 2001/2117(COS))

The European Parliament,

–   having regard to the Commission Green Paper (COM(2001) 68 - C5-0259/2001),

–   having regard to the White Paper on Growth, Competitiveness and Employment (COM(1993) 700 of 5 December 1993),

–   having regard to Rule 47(1) of its Rules of Procedure,

–   having regard to the report of the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Consumer Policy and the opinion of the Committee on Industry, External Trade, Research and Energy (A5-0419/2001),

A.   whereas an integrated product policy which furthers sustainable development should not only be efficient in economic terms but should above all be effective from the environmental point of view and should contribute to social well-being both inside and outside the EU,

B.   whereas action is urgently needed to reverse unsustainable trends such as depletion of natural resources, climate change, diffuse emissions of hazardous chemicals and increasing generation of waste and in particular hazardous waste,

C.   whereas IPP could be a useful additional tool to legislation,

D.   whereas consumers exercise their freedom of choice not only on the basis of product quality but also on the basis of their purchasing power,

E.   whereas account should be taken of the close relationship which exists between the Sixth Community Environment Action Programme 2001-2010, the White Paper on Strategy for a future Chemicals Policy and the EU's strategy concerning an integrated product policy,

F.   whereas research and technological development programmes and the funding allocated thereto must be used to help implement the integrated product policy;

G.   whereas account should also be taken of the situation in the various Member States when drawing up an integrated product policy which is acceptable to them all,

H.   whereas an integrated product policy should be based on shared responsibility at every stage of the production and distribution chain,

1.   Considers the Commission proposal to be unsatisfactory albeit interesting; believes that a more exhaustive and more cohesive policy proposal would be required which takes due account in a more apparent manner of each link in the production chain, such as raw materials, energy consumption, packaging and transport; considers, however, that, with a view to establishing more precise and better coordinated bases from which to launch the proposal, a more exhaustive study should have been carried out into the achievements and failures of existing IPP policies (European eco-label, EMAS, New Approach legislation such as the directive on packaging, etc.); calls for the Commission to draw up more precise documents as a basis for Parliament's work, since this would save all the parties concerned a great deal of unnecessary work;

2.   Emphasises that the arrangements for awarding and monitoring a future European ecological label need to be specified more precisely;

3.   Presumes that the Commission will not submit a white paper on integrated product policy until it has carefully taken account of Parliament's views on the green paper;

4.   Regrets the absence of clear objectives with timetables for IPP as well as of methods and indicators for monitoring the achievement of IPP and calls on the Commission to develop these as a prerequisite for a successful IPP;

5.   Requests that IPP should aim at a significant reduction in the total environmental burden generated by the quantity and hazard of products in circulation with clear timetables;

6.   Stresses that IPP shall complement existing legal instruments and shall under no circumstances be used to replace or soften EC legislation;

7.   Calls on the Commission to critically assess the achievements and failures of New Approach legislation to see whether it supports the aims of IPP;

8.   Calls on the Commission to initiate appropriate pilot projects as soon as possible;

9.   Believes that, in view of the complexity of the process in which producers, consumers and governments are involved, it is important for the effect on business, education and social affairs to be taken into account during the integrated product policy development and implementation process; in particular the integrated product policy must lead to the employment of a workforce whose knowledge enables it to engage and interact with sustainable development by means including participation in the development of knowledge and involvement in knowledge-based working;

10.   Stresses the need for services to be included within the scope of the integrated product policy so that the undesirable effects which they have on the environment can be reduced; regrets that the increasingly large services sector has not been sufficiently addressed and recommends the environmental effects of services (especially transport and tourism) be subject to a similar approach;

11.   Asks the Commission to look at existing patterns of consumption and to identify opportunities for shifting to dematerialisation, emphasising the role services can play instead of products;

12.   Stresses the importance of clarifying the roles of the various actors, while arrangements for cooperation should remain at the discretion of the various groups concerned; emphasises that greater consideration must be given to environmental aspects when CEN and ISO standards are set and supports the continuation of the EHD (Environmental Held Desk) project at European level; emphasises that the incorporation of environmental concerns into European standardisation is an important element of an integrated product policy; strongly urges the Commission to ensure that all parties are properly represented in the standardisation process, including representatives of environmental and consumer organisations; encourages the Commission to present as soon as possible a proposal for a revision of the New Approach which ensures that environmental concerns are genuinely incorporated into standardisation;

13.   Points out that, as regards the use of their powers, governments should clearly specify their role and should establish minimum requirements for environmental indicators, clear targets and timetables; any voluntary agreements should be used as a steering instrument only if they are accompanied by the possibility on the part of the State of imposing sanctions; finally, the IPP and any voluntary agreements are not to replace but only to supplement existing and future legislation;

14.   Stresses that the starting point for an integrated product policy should be a comprehensive multidimensional lifecycle concept;

15.   Considers that the constraints linked to the need to produce in a more ecological fashion should not impose any penalties on small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), craft industries and traditional production methods;

16.   Maintains in this connection that, in order to reduce the cost of measures and not to exclude small and medium-sized businesses from the process, environmental indicators based on an assessment of products' simplified life cycle should be established; stresses the importance of establishing precise and uniform parameters for such a life-cycle analysis.

Such indicators should be representative and consistent and should reflect the main environmental impact and the most significant environmental aspects of each product range; they should be established (e.g. by product panels) by agreement amongst the various groups concerned with a view to determining the most relevant indicators and establishing methods for measuring those indicators which, however, should be revised every so often and, if necessary, updated; it should be pointed out that LCA methods are still difficult to apply, particularly in terms of use of resources, time and analysis of the results. Such difficulties increase significantly where small and medium-sized businesses are concerned and where there are structural differences between the various Member States (for example, differing combinations of energy sources);

17.   Stresses the need to encourage companies to actively develop simple environmental indicators that can be easily used in international production networks and chains;

18.   Stresses that, on the basis of a lifecycle analysis and reliable indicators, a framework can be established into which economic operators will independently grow as they incorporate environmental aspects into their strategic thinking, their product design and their actual production; responsible trading and the ability to innovate are important components of the integrated product policy concept;

19.   Insists that product prices should accurately reflect the environmental costs of products and that eco-design products should be promoted. This should be achieved through the use of price mechanisms and through the adoption of measures promoting the internalisation of external costs (something which, alone, would encourage environmental improvements to products);

20.   Calls on the Commission to reduce and/or eliminate subsidies that counteract the purpose of IPP;

21.   Considers that preference should be given, over and above any penalty scheme, to appropriate instruments and measures designed to encourage both businesses and individuals, such as financial assistance (to enable production procedures to be adapted and brought up to standard) or tax incentives (lower VAT rates);

22.   Suggests to the Commission that it investigate the possibility of pursuing IPP targets at OECD level as well as within the WTO, and recommends intensive cooperation between the Environment DG and the Trade DG on the WTO issue; expects the Commission to analyse the implications of global supply chains for IPP, IPP's role in developing countries and its compatibility with World Trade Organisation rules, and to submit proposals for revisions to necessary legislation at bi- and multilateral level;

23.   Urges public authorities to facilitate the development of more environmentally friendly products by encouraging research in this field and disseminating the results thereof; believes that such research should include development of the retail chain towards meeting demand by selling a service rather than by selling the possession of a product;

24.   Considers that measures should be implemented gradually and that the number of product categories involved should slowly be extended; all measures should help producers to become aware of the environmental impact of the products which they place on the market and thus indicate the scope for making environmental improvements to those products;

25.   Calls for the concept of an integrated product policy to be developed for individual sectors and possibly for individual products, so that the concept can actually be put into practice;

26.   Welcomes the fact that a workable integrated product policy based on research into the lifecycles of individual products is beginning to emerge in the Member States and considers that the experience so gained should be incorporated into a future White Paper and into future legislation;

27.   Stresses that experience with the IPP concept or the experience gained in individual sectors within the Member States must be made available throughout the EU and that the interlinking and intensification of such activities should be promoted;

28.   Points out that an integrated product policy is based on communication and cooperation between the various parties concerned; it is important for the target groups to be clearly defined so that communication tools, such as training for product developers, process operators as well as information for consumers, can be devised appropriately; such communication must be product-specific and must be geared to the specific requirements of a given product;

29.   Recognises the need to draw up a long-term step-by-step educational strategy designed to guide producers and final consumers, with due consideration for the needs of children and young people; only the provision of further information to the general public will bring this about, for which reason producers/service providers should make key information regarding the entire lifecycle of their products/services available to consumers in a suitable fashion;

30.   Points out that increased interaction between consumers, consumer organisations, retailers and manufacturers would help to strengthen consumers' rights and enable a greater amount of transparent, verifiable information to be made available;

31.   Emphasises that the IPP concept should be transposed by means of existing Community law and that new instruments should be created only in order to fill gaps in the rules;

32.   Considers that variable taxation of products according to their environmental impact should be introduced and that this should occur within a Europe-wide context;

33.   Stresses the need for environmental criteria on the production process as well as on the final product to be incorporated into government procurement procedures so that businesses which supply ecological products and services become market leaders, once the necessary technical procedures have been devised which will enable the required environmental criteria to be identified and assessed;

34.   Warns that consideration should be given to suitably combining the instruments proposed in the Green Paper so as to prevent the risk of duplication and conflict which could arise if they are all adopted together;

35.   Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council and Commission.


EXPLANATORY STATEMENT

This Commission initiative is in line with the basic principles of sustainable development and the Cardiff spirit, as expressed in the European Union's Sixth Environmental Action Programme and in its Sustainable Development Strategy.

The integrated product policy provides a new framework for considering aspects relating to the life cycle of products, with a view to reducing the impact which the latter have on the environment. The proposed measures are based on the creation of incentives which will encourage design improvements, more and better information along the value chain and a better match between prices and costs.

The aim is to steer production and consumption towards a better accommodation with the principles of sustainable development, without reducing the Member States' wealth-creation capacity.

Devising an integrated product policy provides an opportunity for harmonising national policies, although the importance of creating a Community policy which is sufficiently flexible to enable all the Member States to participate in it fully must not be overlooked.

To this end, the Commission is proposing extensive involvement in the process by all the interested parties and is paying particular attention to the role of market forces and the instruments thereof.

The success of the initiative will depend to a large extent on correct identification and use of the main instruments.

The basic objectives of the proposal are concerned with:

* GETTING THE PRICE RIGHT

The aim is to ensure that the prices of products more accurately reflect the external costs of those products. Prices would thus give a signal to the market regarding the environmental impact of products and so help to channel demand.

In any event, measures must be put forward on solid bases which demonstrate that the measures will enhance competitiveness without producing any undesired effects. If the internalisation of external costs is not carried out on a sound basis it may create market distortions, particularly if it is not universally accepted at international level.

The introduction of such instruments therefore requires detailed prior assessment of the effects which those instruments may have on the competitiveness of European industry.

In the process of producing and consuming goods and services, environmental responsibilities should be shared by the various parties involved. Hence the extraction of raw materials, product design, advertising, consumers, governments, product disposal, etc. are all essential aspects to be taken into account with a view to reducing and softening the environmental impact of products throughout their life cycle.

* ECOLOGICAL CONSUMPTION

It is important for the debate to focus on the instruments which are proposed in the Green Paper as a means of encouraging ecological demand. Having some influence over demand is the key to ensuring that products are improved from an environmental point of view, for which reason consumer access to simple, comprehensible and accurate information must be promoted consistently and comprehensively.

The integrated product policy must not only take existing market forces into account but must also turn them to its advantage. Every product market is the scene of a constant complex, dynamic and balanced interaction between producers and consumers and it is important not to create distortions in the market balance.

The demand for green products is still low, although consumers take various criteria into account when selecting a product (price, safety, quality, environmental behaviour, etc.). Devoting exclusive attention to any one of these factors gives a distorted view of the way in which consumers actually behave, for which reason the integrated product policy should focus on continuous improvements in all the above areas, including the environmental dimension.

Consumers are going to be able to play a more active role as they take decisions regarding the use of products and the disposal thereof. An important point to be borne in mind is that consumers must be informed and educated but must not be forced to purchase certain types of product. Demand for green products should not be created artificially.

At the same time the use to which information technologies can be put and the diversity of the services which they offer are things to be taken into account when efforts are made to keep consumers informed and it should be borne in mind that no major initiatives in this area have yet been devised.

* ECOLOGICAL SUPPLY

A third area which requires attention is the ecological supply of goods and services, in respect of which measures should be devised which encourage the production and subsequent supply of more environmentally friendly products and services.

In this connection it may already be observed that the major companies which are fighting for leadership of the market within which they compete are the ones which have gone furthest in the manufacture of ecological products and efforts should be made to help businesses become aware of the market opportunities which are opening up before them.

The manufacture of environmentally friendly products will contribute to the sustainability of business activity. In order to promote this trend, businesses will have to be given incentives and certain tools will have to be developed and placed at their disposal. Such incentives should be promoted at least at European level and ideally – if possible – at international level too.

In order to encourage the manufacture of more ecologically sound products, product design should be one of the first areas to receive support. The trend should be to reduce the volume of resources used in production processes and to achieve a gradual reduction in the use of hazardous substances. Measures such as these should be considered in greater depth.

Businesses should be made aware of the impact and the potential of their products' life cycle. Efforts should be made to establish a simple methodology for life-cycle analysis which can be made accessible to, and affordable by, small and medium-sized businesses too.

Worker participation should also feature, so that the people who are most closely involved in the process can contribute effectively towards cleaner production and consumption.

Businesses should have freedom to decide which instruments will help them most to improve their products, so that they can adopt the measures which are best suited to their circumstances.


OPINION OF THE COMMITTEE ON INDUSTRY, EXTERNAL TRADE,
RESEARCH AND ENERGY

6 November 2001

for the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Consumer Policy

on Green paper on integrated product policy

(COM(2001) 68 – C5-0259/2001 – 2001/2117 (COS))

Draftsman: Caroline Lucas

PROCEDURE

The Committee on Industry, External Trade, Research and Energy appointed Caroline Lucas draftsman at its meeting of 11 July 2001.

It considered the draft opinion at its meetings of 15 October and 6 November 2001.

At the last meeting it adopted the following conclusions unanimously.

The following were present for the vote: Carlos Westendorp y Cabeza, chairman; Peter Michael Mombaur , vice-chairman; Caroline Lucas, draftsman; Konstantinos Alyssandrakis, Renato Brunetta, Giles Bryan Chichester, Christos Folias, Pat the Cope Gallagher, Norbert Glante, Alfred Gomolka (for Konrad K. Schwaiger), Michel Hansenne, Malcolm Harbour (for John Purvis), Roger Helmer, Hans Karlsson, Bashir Khanbhai (for Godelieve Quisthoudt-Rowohl), Constanze Angela Krehl (for Mechtild Rothe), Werner Langen, Albert Jan Maat (for W.G. van Velzen), Nelly Maes, Erika Mann, Hans-Peter Martin (for Rolf Linkohr), Eryl Margaret McNally, Angelika Niebler, Barbara O'Toole (for Harlem Désir), Reino Paasilinna, Elly Plooij-van Gorsel, Samuli Pohjamo (for Astrid Thors), Bernhard Rapkay (for Gérard Caudron), Imelda Mary Read, Paul Rübig, Ilka Schröder, Esko Olavi Seppänen, Claude Turmes (for Yves Piétrasanta), Alejo Vidal-Quadras Roca, Dominique Vlasto, Anders Wijkman, Myrsini Zorba, Olga Zrihen Zaari.

SHORT JUSTIFICATION

The concept of Integrated Product Policy refers to a consideration of the environmental effects of products throughout their lifecycle - from the mining of raw materials to production, distribution, use, maintenance, recycling or disposal. While some current EU policies consider specific stages of the life-cycle issues or address some particular products, no general framework exists at present.

The Green Paper is a first step towards the implementation of such an approach in the EU. In its aim to strengthen and re-focus product related environmental policies it recognises the need for a broad range of instruments, in particular taxation, fiscal incentives, low VAT on environmentally friendly products, the promotion of criteria-led ecolabels and green public procurement.

It acknowledges that an IPP approach needs to involve industry, governments and consumers highlighting the need for multi-stakeholder dialogues. A consultation with various stake-holders already took place in March which focussed on technical and industrial aspects of the Green Paper.

As a whole, your draftsperson welcomes this Green Paper. However, her analysis raises some points deserving serious attention:

On a technical note, there are some concerns about the timetable of this Green Paper. The Commission is already planning to publish a White Paper by December 2001, despite the fact that the lead Committee's report is not going to plenary until December. Thus on the one hand the Green Paper is calling for multi-stakeholder dialogue, yet on the other it is effectively bypassing the views of the European Parliament. The timetable for this process therefore needs serious reconsideration.

In terms of content, the Green Paper does not establish clearly enough what objectives IPP should achieve – is it aiming at producers who are already leaders in their field, or at those (the majority) that may need more help and support in shifting to IPP? Beyond general methods and principles, there is a need to have a set of objectives, targets and indicators, in order to measure effectiveness. The range of innovative and interesting green policy tools set out in the Green Paper tends to obscure some of the existing constraints which stop them from being as effective as they might be, so the paper fails to follow through on its own conclusions.

Its relation to existing initiatives, including the EU Strategy for Sustainable Development, and the 6th Environmental Action Programme requires clarification. A systematic assessment of past experiences with product policies would also be useful, giving the opportunity to learn from that experience.

The Green Paper's focus on products neglects the importance of services – and therefore misses potential opportunities to green an increasingly large sector of our economies, in particular services such as transport and tourism. Further, services have the potential to be more resource efficient than products and in some cases can replace products altogether.

The proposed strategy tends to rely too heavily on voluntary agreements; it does not define their scope as a substitute or a complement to regulation and does not address the need for objective assessment tools. We therefore need very clear benchmarks and objectives and timetables for any voluntary agreements, in order to ensure implementation, along the lines of the Commission's preparation of a legislative framework for voluntary environmental agreements which set out criteria, conditions, monitoring arrangements and penalties.

Apart from industry, the Green Paper also emphasises the role of consumers and the importance of their purchasing power to reduce environmental impacts by choosing sustainable products. However, the Green Paper focuses on the performance of products, and neglects the consumption aspect. Levels of consumption also need to be part of an IPP approach.

The mention of reduced VAT for Green products hardly covers the extent of changes needed to VAT directives. Further, other market based instruments should be considered, such as virgin materials taxes that would promote recycling or substition; or tradable CO2 – credits to create incentives for lower CO2 emissions; or a tax on packaging as well as the promotion of tax reductions for the services and repair sectors.

The Green Paper says that the Commission will take the lead to green public procurement. In the current review of the Procurement Directives, however, the IPP's life-cycle approach is not being integrated. On the contrary, efforts to implement IPP are being penalised and legal action has already been taken against a number of towns and cities which have tried to implement a green procurement policy.

The Green Paper mentions the integration of environmental interests in the standardisation process but relies on a consensus process. There is a danger that such a consultation process is more open to large industries with the resources, and that consumer and environmental organisations or SMEs will be at a disadvantage. The Commission should therefore ensure these stakeholders are given support to be able to participate in the process.

But the major shortcoming of the Green Paper is its insufficient awareness of the broader international trade context, under which, unfortunately, some of the proposals would have questionable legality. The effectiveness of the Green Paper will be severely curtailed unless the Commission explicitly recognises the realities of the global trading system and devises strategies to overcome them.

The Green Paper gives the impression that the world of products (from production to consumption and disposal) begins and ends at the borders of the EU. A great many products have components sourced from outside EU borders and many more are destined for consumption or disposal outside the EU. The wider implications of this sourcing policy are not covered in this Paper, and the effectiveness of the Green Paper will be severely limited by WTO rules.

Developing an IPP on a European level is a necessary start, but it is not sufficient if we are to meet the key challenges of ecological product policy and the wider objectives of sustainable development which do not stop at national or regional borders.

CONCLUSIONS

The Committee on Industry, External Trade, Research and Energy calls on the Committee on Environment, Public Health and Consumer Policy, as the committee responsible, to incorporate the following points in its motion for a resolution:

1.   Welcomes the Green Paper on IPP as a demonstration of the EU's commitment to sustainable development and as a response to the need to put into a comprehensive strategy existing EU policies and approaches on the polluter pays principle, PPMs and product life-cycle;

2.   In anticipation of a White Paper stresses the need to assign clear objectives in the IPP strategy in terms of content, scope and timetable, as well as to identify effective tools for measuring its success; asks the Commission to hold back the White Paper until the Parliament's consultation process has been completed;

3.   Regrets that the increasingly large sector of services has not been sufficiently addressed and recommends the environmental effects of services (especially transport and tourism) be subject to a similar approach;

4.   Asks the Commission to look at existing patterns of consumption and to identify opportunities for shifting to dematerialisation, emphasising the role services can play instead of products;

5.   Believes that the main element in a policy to "getting the prices right" must consist of an adjustment of the price structure in society – in particular for labour and natural resources – making the more efficient use of resources financially attractive for manufacturers, distributors and consumers;

6.   Recognises that a main principle for a well-functioning market economy is that market prices reflect the true costs of the products; therefore calls for removal of subsidies that are harmful to the environment and the introduction of an incentive structure – charges and/or rebates – to level the playing field and make resource efficiency measures competitive in the market place;

7.   Expects the Commission to provide a study, on necessary modifications to European legislation that runs counter to the purpose of IPP (e.g. environmentally damaging subsidies, VAT or public procurement); and for the Commission to implement a strategy for action divided into short, medium and longer terms in order to meet the objectives laid down in the 6th Environment Action Programme and Sustainable Development Strategy;

8.   Recognises that voluntary agreements with industry have a role to play and can be useful in terms of their flexibility, but considers that they are complementary to, not a substitute for, regulation and that they therefore require measurable objectives including targets, timetables and benchmarks; in this context calls on the Commission to present a proposal for framework legislation on voluntary environmental agreements, which lays down the relevant criteria with regard to conditions, monitoring arrangements and compliance;

9.   Recommends the Commission to take measures which make it easier for consumers to consider the total cost associated with the use of a product already at the time of purchase, e.g. through complementing existing labelling schemes;

10.   Expects the Commission to analyse the implications of global supply chains for IPP, IPP's role in developing countries, as well as its compatibility with World Trade Organisation rules making proposals for revisions to necessary legislation at bi- and multilateral level. Further suggests the Commission investigates the possibility of pursuing IPP goals at OECD level, as well as at WTO level;

11.   Recommends more intensive cooperation between DG Environment and DG Trade on the issue of WTO, and proposes an analysis of EU position statements already sent to the WTO Secretariat, in terms of IPP compatibility;

12.   Insists that the current revision of EU public procurement legislation becomes fully consistent with the IPP principles of a life-cycle approach and suggests that suppliers of public goods and services should introduce environmental management schemes such as the EMAS system or the international ISO 14000. Further suggests that the EU institutions become subject immediately to a pilot project of such an approach to public procurement;

13.   Believes that eco-label criteria may serve as an useful instrument for public authorities in the greening of their procurement, and therefore recommends the Commission to present a proposal for a revision of the EC Regulation on a Community eco-label award scheme so as to allow for the development of eco-label criteria also for non-consumer product groups;

14.   Recommends that the Commission gives greater attention on the particular needs of SMEs in becoming practitioners of IPP, particularly as providers of public procurement.

Last updated: 8 December 2001Legal notice