State Secretary Håbrekke discussed REACH with EU Parliamentarians

State Secretary Øyvind Håbrekke of the Ministry of the Environment met with central figures in the European Parliament on 23 and 24 June in connection to the REACH proposal. As an EEA member Norway will be legally bound to the upcoming REACH Directive.

15/02/2006 :: “There is great potential for maintaining Norwegian interests,” State Secretary Håbrekke said after his meeting at the European Parliament in Brussels.

“It looks as if the EU might get stricter regulations to stop the use of the most dangerous chemicals than what the Commission originally set out for”.

During talks with Parliamentary rapporteur for REACH, Guido Sacconi, the representative from the Industrial Committee, Lena Ek, and the Vice Chairman for the Environmental Committee, Satu Hassi, the State Secretary emphasised the need to strengthen the proposal on REACH.

Håbrekke stressed the principle of substitution as an important initiative, towards replacing dangerous substances with non-hazardous materials considered less harmful to the environment and health.

Halting the use and emission of the most dangerous substances is the main objective behind the proposal.

The Norwegian government has good experiences with the ‘duty of care’ principle within a Norwegian context, and believes the EU would benefit from such a policy.

On 24 June the EU Environmental Council decided to take a restrictive policy line in regards to the authorisation of different substances under the REACH initiative.

The EU Parliament will assess the REACH proposal in the fall of 2005.

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State Secretary Øyvind Håbrekke (left) and rapporteur Guido Sacconi discussed the progress on REACH in Brussels.