Is the EU Environment Committee playing for room on WEEE?

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The European Parliament's Environment Committee today voted to support a collection target for Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipement (WEEE) of 85% by 2016. This is poles apart from the Councils position who support a 65% target based on goods going on sale, to be phased in to most EU countries by 2020.

This disparity now means that the Council and the Environment Committee will now have to start a negotiation process in order to seek agreement. Knowing that it was unlikely that agreement could be reached without the negotiations, is the Parliament playing for room?

Under the EU's co-decision procedure, both the Council of Member State Ministers and the European Parliament must agree on new legislation and if they can't agree they both must enter a negotiation process where enviably compromises are made.

By setting their stall as far from the Council as possible the Environment Committee have a greater room for negation and more scope for trade-offs. With the current state of play in co-decision is it likely that we will increasingly see this type of approach from the Parliament's Committees?

The Parliament also agreed to introduce a separate target for re-use of 5%, this is again does not appear in the Councils proposals.

The proof however will be in what is or isn't agreed in advance of the vote at the plenary Parliament meeting in January 2012.

Today's vote also saw the Environment Committee in favor of a central EU registration system and a ban on exports of waste electrical and electronic equipment to non-OECD countries.

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Director of EU Affairs

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