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Critical raw materials are essential to sustain Europe's economic and environmental ambitions. As geoeconomic aggression and geopolitical tensions rise, the EU is re-thinking its reliance on certain imports. Can the EU secure its supply of critical materials?

This briefing provides an initial analysis of the strengths and weaknesses of the European Commission's impact assessment (IA) accompanying the above-mentioned proposal, submitted on 30 March 2022 and referred to the European Parliament's Committee on Environment, Public Health and Food Safety (ENVI). The proposal aims to repeal the Ecodesign Directive 2009/125/EC, which establishes a framework for adopting product-specific requirements set out in implementing measures (usually regulations) by the ...

On 30 March 2022, the European Commission put forward a proposal for a regulation establishing a general framework for setting ecodesign requirements for sustainable products, repealing rules currently in force which concentrate on energy-related products only. The regulation would lay down rules that would apply to all products on the internal market, with the aim of making them more durable, reusable, reparable, upgradable, recyclable and generally less harmful to the environment. The regulation ...

The steel sector is one of the most challenging sectors to decarbonise and has recently received special attention owing to the potential use of low-carbon hydrogen (green and blue) to reduce its fuel combustion and process-related carbon emissions. This report addresses concerns that might arise while evaluating the potential and limitations of the future role of hydrogen in decarbonising the iron and steel industries. The report provides a comprehensive overview of current technical knowledge, ...

Living in the EU: Circular economy

Kort sammanfattning 16-03-2021

Circular economy is a production and consumption model that involves reusing, repairing, refurbishing and recycling existing materials and products to keep materials within the economy. It implies that waste becomes a resource, consequently minimising the actual amount of waste. The circular model is generally the antithesis of a traditional, linear economic model, which is based on a 'take-make-consume-throw away' pattern. This paper looks at the job creation potential and added value produced by ...

New circular economy action plan

Kort sammanfattning 04-02-2021

Moving to a circular economy is key for achieving EU climate action, nature protection and sustainability ambitions, and also delivering benefits for innovation, growth and jobs. During the February session, Parliament is expected to vote on an own-initiative report on the Commission's proposed plan for more circularity.

This study, commissioned by the European Parliament’s Policy Department for Citizens’ Rights and Constitutional Affairs at the request of the Committee on Petitions (PETI), focuses on the pervasive use of plastics and reviews the rising consensus on the potential eco-toxicological impacts of these materials, in particular of smaller plastic particles, dubbed microplastics. It discusses possible mitigation strategies aimed at curtailing the prevalence of (micro)plastics, as well as emerging alternatives ...

The European Union (EU) Eco-Management and Audit Scheme (EMAS) is a voluntary management instrument for companies and other organisations wanting to evaluate, report and continuously improve their environmental performance. In 2007, as part of its commitment to making a long-term contribution to sustainable development, the European Parliament became one of the few EU institutions and the first parliament in the EU to obtain EMAS certification. Through its environmental management system it is able ...

EU fertilising products

Briefing 26-06-2019

Fertilising products are used to improve plant growth, mainly in agriculture, enabling higher crop yields. However, they are associated with some challenges as regards security of supply, the environment and health. Although the 2003 Fertilisers Regulation, which aimed at ensuring an internal market in fertilisers, has been effective, it mainly addresses mineral fertilisers and deters the introduction of new types of fertilisers. In March 2016, the Commission put forward a legislative proposal on ...

Reducing marine litter from plastics

Kort sammanfattning 20-03-2019

In May 2018, the European Commission presented a legislative proposal to tackle marine litter, targeting the top ten single-use plastic items found on European beaches as well as fishing gear, which together make up about 70 % of marine beach litter items in Europe. Interinstitutional negotiations with the Council delivered an agreement in December 2018, on which Parliament is expected to vote during its March II plenary session.