Brussels, 24 June 2022
EUROPEAN COUNCIL GRANTS UKRAINE AND MOLDOVA EU CANDIDATE COUNTRY STATUS
The European Council summit takes place this Thursday and Friday in Brussels to discuss Russia’s aggression against Ukraine, food security, EU membership applications and Western Balkans. The summit decided to grant Ukraine and Moldova EU candidate status and committed to endorse Georgia’s application once it fulfils specific requirements set by the Commission. Leaders also welcomed efforts to create solidarity lanes for food export facilitation and announced further work on sanctions against Russia. In addition, there was a commitment to consider the EU membership perspective of the Western Balkans and to follow-up to the Conference on the Future of Europe.
NEW EU SUSTAINABILITY REPORTING DIRECTIVE WIDENS THE SCOPE
The European Parliament and the Council reached a provisional agreement on the Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive. The CSRD amends the current Non-Financial Reporting Directive and introduces more specific requirements with respect to sustainability-related reporting, such as environmental, social, human rights and governance factors, and assurance requirements for a much larger subset of firms operating in the EU, including all listed SMEs with an opt-out transition framework until 2028. The text is now subject to final technical work and adoption procedures. The final Directive will enter into force 20 days after its publication in the Official Journal of the EU.
PARLIAMENT ADOPTS POSITIONS ON KEY CLIMATE FILES
During this week’s Plenary, Parliament managed to adopt their position on three key EU laws that are part of the Fit for 55 package – the European Trading System (ETS) reform, the Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism (CBAM) and the Social Climate Fund. The Parliament’s text on the ETS calls for the phasing out of the free allowances by 2032 and earmarks the revenues to be used only for climate action. On CBAM, the Parliament calls for a centralised authority and for an amount equivalent to the CBAM revenues to be used to support the green transition of the least developed countries.
PARLIAMENT AND COUNCIL AGREE ON RULES TACKLING HARMFUL WASTE CHEMICALS
The European co-legislators reached an agreement on the proposed revision to the persistent organic pollutants regulation. The EU considers these pollutants to be harmful chemicals which can be found in waste stemming from certain types of consumer products such as furniture. The European Parliament and the Council found common ground in introducing new chemicals on the list of persistent organic pollutants. The co-legislators also agreed on restricting the presence of such chemicals in waste by raising the concentration limit values. The agreement will now need to be formally adopted before the law can enter into force.
COMMISSION PROPOSES TARGETS TO RESTORE EU’S NATURE AND PHASE OUT PESTICIDE USE
The Commission put forward a legislative proposal aiming to restore damaged ecosystems and prevent adverse impacts of climate change and biodiversity loss. The Nature Restoration Law’s target is to repair 80% of European habitats in poor condition to cover 20% of the EU’s land and sea areas by 2030 with nature restoration measures. Moreover, the Commission introduced a second proposal to reduce by 50% the use of chemical pesticides by 2030 and new rules on environmentally friendly pest control. The proposed revision to the Sustainable Use of Pesticides Directive also includes a possible ban on all pesticides in areas such as public parks.
COMING UP NEXT WEEK
Karl Isaksson, Managing Partner Brussels, Kreab