Environment Commissioner, Karmenu Vella, urged Frans Timmermans, the Commission First Vice-President in charge of Better Regulation, to keep the circular economy package of waste, recycling and incineration laws tabled by the previous Commissioner, It has emerged.
Karmenu Vella wrote to Frans Timmermans on 13 November 2014, according to EurActiv, which suggests the Commissioner advised against the pulling of the environment packages until the Council and Parliament completed first readings.
Segments from the letter state:
Vella’s letter was obtained by EurActiv, after the European Environmental Bureau (EEB) used the EU’s access to documents regulation to get the internal papers. The EEB has asked for documents related to the dropping of the package, which was drafted under the previous Barroso Commission.
The European Commission’s decision to axe the circular economy package was first announced in November last year and confirmed in January, despite objections by EU Parliament and national environment ministers.
The circular economy package included a 70% recycling or reuse target for municipal waste by 2030, and to ban recyclable materials such as plastics, paper, metals, glass and biodegradable waste to landfill by 2025.
The EU’s waste package was dropped at the end of last year, to be replaced with a more “ambitious proposal” by the end of 2015.
Vella recently suggested that the recycling targets set out in the original Circular Economy Package, prior to it being scrapped, will remain at that level when the re-tabled package is introduced this autumn.
He said: “We will retain the same objectives for the countries. All objectives will be the same for all member states, but it is a fact that we have different member states running at different speeds.
“We do not have an issue with those that want to attain or even exceed the targets but we do have an issue with those member states which are not achieving those targets.”