The revision of the EU Mercury Regulation is well underway: In the Council, the Member States have examined the Commission proposal, in the Parliament the rapporteurs of the ENVI Committee have submitted their proposed amendments and set dates for votes, and the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) has issued a positive opinion.
The Commission presented its proposal to the European Council on 18 July and asked member states to provide feedback until 12 October. While the vast majority (17 member states!) stayed silent and passivly agree with the Commission, ten submissions were received from which only the Czech Republic opposed the proposal and requested to postpone the phase-out date to 2030 (although its National Action Plan has already scheduled a transition to alternative filling materials in the public healthcare system by January 1, 2025). Slovakia reserved the option to support a moderate postponement, as the time between the adoption of the regulation and the entry into force of the phase out in January 2025 might become unusually brief. Poland and Finland issued encouraging opinions in favor of phasing out dental amalgam by January 2025 and Denmark, Sweden, Latvia, Lithuania, Ireland and Malta confirmed that there are no subsidiarity concerns with this proposal or didn’t finish the scrutiny process in time. (Link)
In the Parliament, Marlene Mortler, rapporteur for the revision of the regulation from the European People’s Party, presented her draft amendments in ENVI Committee on 24 October. Her proposal to postpone the phase-out date to January 2027 was, however, vehemently rejected by S&D, Green, Renew and Left shadow rapporteurs at the consideration in the committee on 20 November (Link). In their written amendments, S&Ds and Greens even call to remove the exemptions for the use of dental amalgam proposed by the Commission. Only the conservative ECR Group with its shadow rapporteur from the Czech Republic supports Ms. Mortler.
Further encouraging support came in the meantime from the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC), which is the representation of employers, workers and civil society organisations in Europe. The ECSC also recommends to phase out dental amalgam without any exemptions by January 2025. (Link)
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