EU Commission Vows to Propose More ‘Ambitious’ Environment Laws

The European Commission said it was withdrawing major pieces of environmental legislation so it can push through “more ambitious” laws in future.

Frans Timmermans, the commission’s principal vice president, today told the European Parliament in Strasbourg, France, that the European Union executive, which started work on Nov. 1, will proceed only with proposals for laws that meet its objective of boosting employment and economic growth.

“Where it is clear the existing proposal will not be agreed in a way that meets our objectives, we will propose alternative, more effective approaches,” Timmermans told EU lawmakers.

The commission wanted to withdraw the 28-nation bloc’s proposed energy-tax directive because national governments had already “watered it down” in the negotiating stage, Timmermans said.

A draft law for the so-called circular economy, relating to waste recycling and setting out limits for landfill use, will “make way for a broader and more ambitious approach that can be more effective,” he said.

“While I’m pleased these measures will no longer be scrapped, we now have a fight on our hands to deliver an ambitious alternative,” said Gerben-Jan Gerbrandy, a Dutch member of the European Parliament. “That fight will cost precious time and economic growth.”

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