Crucial laws to protect people and the environment are being delayed by an EU pre-occupation with cutting red tape.
ClientEarth and three other health campaigners wrote to the EU Commissioner for Trade, Cecilia Malmström, to ask her to exclude controversial elements of the EU’s Better Regulation agenda from Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) negotiations with the US.
ClientEarth lawyer Laurens Ankersmit said: “On endocrine disruptors, the Commission delayed for so long that EU judges ruled it was breaching its legal obligations. The Commission also has still not adapted chemical registration rules for nanomaterials. The delays have been caused by the Commission’s approach to doing impact assessments and stakeholder consultations, key elements of the Better Regulation agenda.”
“Health and safety laws are already taking too long to make. We must not tie EU law-making to international trade agreements which favour profit over people. The health of EU citizens and the environment depends on it.”
The 13th round of TTIP negotiations kicked off on Monday (25 April). Campaigners and policymakers are worried the trade deal will impede strong safety standards in the EU.
Letter to Malmström warns EU hands will be tied on safety law
The Commission wants to include a chapter on “Good Regulatory Practices” which contains controversial elements of the EU’s Better Regulation agenda. Under Better Regulation, the Commission’s approach to impact assessments and stakeholder consultations is delaying the creation or updating of laws essential to protect people and the planet. If this system is written into TTIP, which is a legally binding agreement, the EU will not have the flexibility to make strong laws, quickly, to keep people safe.
CIEL, the European Environmental Bureau and the Health and Environment Alliance signed the letter sent to Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmström, calling on her to exclude the “Good Regulatory Practices” chapter from the Commission’s TTIP proposals and to ensure that controversial elements of the EU’s Better Regulation agenda are not embedded in the legally binding trade agreement.