Today, 26 June 2019, the meeting of the Council of EU Environment Ministers was held in Luxembourg, the last meeting to be held under the Romanian presidency.
The event was co-chaired by Deputy Prime Minister and Environment Minister Grațiela GAVRILESCU and the Minister of Waters and Forests, Ioan DENEȘ, and gathered representatives of the similar ministries of the EU member states, as well as the representatives of the European Commission, Karmenu VELLA, European Commissioner for the environment, maritime affairs and fisheries, and Miguel Arias CAÑETE, European Commissioner for climate and energy policies.
Today’s Environment Council agenda started with a discussion on the management of chemicals and the adoption of the Council Conclusions – “Towards a Sustainable Chemicals Policy Strategy of the Union”. In the conclusions proposed by the Romanian presidency, the need to protect human and environment health through the proper management of chemical substances was highlighted. The conclusions also address the need to improve and integrate the chemical risk assessment and the management of chemical substances in the EU legislation for the purpose of enhancing its consistency and efficacy with regard to chemical substances. Through these Conclusions, the Council is targeting the development of a coordinated mechanism that would ensure the safety of vulnerable groups, such as children and pregnant or nursing women. This mechanism should include the introduction of consistent requirements regarding risk management in the relevant legislation of the EU on the chemicals of concern, such as neurotoxins and endocrine disruptors.
“These detailed and important conclusions offer a clear direction for the European Union legislation with regard to the chemical substance management strategy, concentrating on human and environment health protection through a strategic approach to chemical substance management. We have also agreed upon the necessity of improving and integrating the chemical substance risk management in all European environment legislation for the purpose of enhancing the efficacy and consistency thereof,” Deputy Prime Minister and Environment Minister Grațiela Gavrilescu declared.
Another item on the agenda was the Environment Implementation Review (EIR). The ministers concluded that the Environment Implementation Review is a useful instrument for rectifying any implementation issues.
In closing, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Environment Grațiela GAVRILESCU presented the overall results of the Romanian Presidency of the EU Council with regard to the environment. “I am extremely proud that we could successfully negotiate important files, such as the establishment of the first performance standards with regard to CO2 emissions for heavy vehicles, tightening the regulations on persistent organic pollutants, and the LIFE program. It was a great honour for me to co-preside over the last 6 months over the Environment Council, and together with the entire Romanian Presidency team, to advance extremely important topics for the citizens and our future!” declared Grațiela Gavrilescu.