Note:Your browser doesn't correctly display this page because of a bad stylesheets interpretation. This is probably due to an old browser version.

[Luxembourg 2005 Presidency of the Council of the European Union]
 Version française        

You are here : Home > News > Press Releases > June 2005 > Jeannot Krecké on REACH: "I think that with 50 impact studies, the time has come for the Council to conclude."
Print this page Send this page

Press Release
Jeannot Krecké on REACH: "I think that with 50 impact studies, the time has come for the Council to conclude."

Date of release : 06-06-2005

Policy area : Competitiveness (Internal market, Industry and Research) Competitiveness (Internal market, Industry and Research)

Event : Competitiveness Council

The Competitiveness Council on 6 June 2005, chaired by Jeannot Krecké, held an orientation debate on the draft regulation on the registration, evaluation and authorisation of chemicals, and restrictions applicable to these substances (REACH).* It also foresees the establishment of a European Chemicals Agency.

A report of the Presidency served as a basis for the debate of the Competitiveness Council. The objective of the Council was to provide policy orientations regarding the work to be undertaken under future Presidencies.

REACH is one of the priorities of the Luxembourg Presidency in the area of competitiveness. The orientation debate focused on the respective roles of the European Chemicals Agency, whose headquarters will be in Helsinki, and of the Member States in the evaluation of dossiers and substances. Also discussed were the proposal to establish a rolling Community plan to register substances to be evaluated and the harmonisation of the internal market through, among other things, the implementation of a network of national agencies coordinated by the Agency. On this issue, Jeannot Krecké confirmed that: "Without eliminating their own capacities, the national agencies should form a network attached to the central agency. We have every interest in keeping intact the evaluation capabilities at the national level, but we agree that all data needs to be collected within the European agency."

The discussion also focused on the conclusions to be drawn from the additional work on impact analysis carried within the framework of the framework agreement between the Commission and industry. The Council is committed to taking into account all the results drawn from the impact studies once the political decision is made. According to Jeannot Krecké, the Ministers thought that "the purpose of impact studies is not to produce a perfect state of information on REACH, but rather to provide as much information as possible." Jeannot Krecké continued: "I think that with 50 impact studies, the time has come for the Council to conclude, to make the necessary political decisions with a view to increasing the feasibility and viability of REACH. This is the opinion of the Presidency as well as of the majority of the Ministers. We have rarely, probably never, carried out so many impact studies. Both consumers and enterprises will find themselves at ease in the REACH regulation. If we wait for perfect information, we will be in the situation of someone who doesn't want to buy a PC unless the technology is flawless and will not be improved anymore. He will never end up buying it."

Consequently, the Council emphasised its intention to advance the REACH proposal with a view to reaching a political agreement following the assent of the European Parliament. "This agreement should take full consideration of the impact that the new legislation will have on SMEs, on the producers/importers of low-volume substances and on the competitiveness of European industry," stated Jeannot Krecké.

The next Environment Council, which will be held in Luxembourg on 24 June, will focus on questions concerning the authorisation of chemical products.

*REACH is a prime example of a regulation within the framework of the Lisbon strategy. It is a concrete example whose objective is to protect the environment and human health, while strengthening competitiveness and the entrepreneurial spirit of European industry. During the Luxembourg Presidency, great progress was made on the detailed analysis of the REACH proposal. The Presidency has remained in close contact with the European Parliament throughout this process.

Within this context, the Presidency organised a REACH workshop, which was held in Luxembourg on 10 and 11 May 2005. This workshop focused on the results of different impact studies. It also held an in-depth discussion of alternative approaches adopted by the Member States, in particular as regards the "one substance, one registration" (OSOR) proposal, a proposal on substances present in products and an alternative approach in the area of registration and evaluation of substances produced in small quantities (1 to 10 tonnes).

Related links

This page was last modified on : 07-06-2005

Top Top