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The Commission White Paper on a Strategy for a Future EU Chemicals Policy: The View of European Companies of American Parentage

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After years of good service, EU legislation on chemicals is currently subject to a major review. This process, initiated by the Council of Ministers at Chester in April 1998, will soon lead to new legislative proposals. In the meantime, a review of the Commission's White Paper on “Strategy for a Future Chemicals Policy,” published in February 2001, clearly shows that the regulatory landscape in this area will be significantly reshaped and that a new burden will be imposed on industry to demonstrate that the production and use of chemicals indeed conform to high standards of protection of human health and the environment. In the view of industry, on both sides of the Atlantic, while the objectives of the proposed reform can be supported, the measures proposed in the White Paper to implement these objectives are not properly balanced and will lead to substantial societal and economic drawbacks, unless significant adjustments are made. The purpose of this article is to present the pitfalls and difficulties of the reform as they are perceived by the EU Committee of the American Chamber of Commerce in Brussels, an organization that regroups about 150 European companies of American parentage, belonging to a broad range of European business sectors, including producers and users of chemicals. In view of the transatlantic and cross-business character of its membership, the EU Committee offers a different perspective on the debate.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2003-04-01

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