The EU chemicals strategy aims to address the cumulative and combined effects of chemicals, including pesticides, stressing a need to accelerate work on methodologies that ensure existing provisions can be fully implemented.
The strategy is intended as a first step towards a zero pollution ambition for a toxic-free environment, as announced in the European Green Deal.
On 14 October 2020, the European Commission the European Commission adopted a legislative proposal (COM(2020) 642 final) amending the Aarhus Regulation to allow for better public scrutiny of EU acts affecting the environment. The proposed amendments improve the possibilities particularly for environmental NGOs to request that the EU institutions review such acts to better ensure environmental protection. This will foster openness and accountability when it comes to environmental protection, contribute to greater transparency and a more effective pursuit of the EU environmental objectives and, thus, help achieve the systemic societal changes required by the European Green Deal.
This additional opinion will complement and update the proposals made in the original 2020 Annual Sustainable Growth Strategy (ASGS) opinion, adopted in February this year, produced under time pressure and before the COVID-19 outbreak so it could not take into account recent developments.
The Semester exercise will be geared towards exiting the current crisis and the opinion is necessary for the EESC to make related proposals. The additional opinion will be presented for the October 2020 Plenary, to provide a timely input to the Commission's preparation of the next ASGS expected again for November 2020. It will therefore target directly the next European Semester cycle at the right political and institutional moment.
In view of the COVID-19 crisis, which has led to a virtual halt in sales in 2020, the EESC has examined the European Commission's proposal for a regulation which would allow Euro 4 motorcycle manufacturers to sell beyond 1 January 2021 vehicles they had in stock on 15 March 2020.