Agriculture Minister discussed packaging regulation and forest health in Brussels

Minister of Agriculture, Rural Development and Environment, Petros Xenophontos, participated in the Environment Council of the EU which was held in Brussels.

According to an announcement, during the 18 December Council, ministers adopted a General Approach on the Packaging and Packaging Waste Regulation. Xenophontos supported the compromise text, expressing satisfaction that Cyprus' main concerns had been taken into account. In particular, he welcomed the correction factor for tourism, the reduction of the targets for exemption from return deposit schemes, and the new review clause for reuse targets. In addition, he welcomed the flexibility that has been added to achieve the waste reduction targets.

The 27 also exchanged views on the new legislative proposal for a Directive establishing a legal framework for soil monitoring. The Minister welcomed this proposal, pointing out that the new framework, together with the existing legal framework, would give new impetus to the protection of the Union's soils from the multiple threats they face. He pointed out that it is important to maintain the flexibility of member states in handling historically contaminated sites on the basis of risk assessments, and that member states should be given time for harmonisation, but also an increased timeframe for the start of monitoring of indicators included in the proposal.

Furthermore, the Council held a political debate on the proposal for a Regulation on a monitoring framework for resilient European forests. The minister welcomed the proposed directive, stating that he supported and shared the objective of a single and harmonised monitoring framework for forests in the EU. He pointed out that the new proposal covers the necessary aspects to create an effective forest monitoring system that will provide comparable, standardised and harmonised data between member states. He noted, however, that the additional costs that member states would have to bear in order to introduce new monitoring methods in line with the requirements of the new proposal are not easy to estimate precisely.

Finally, over lunch, ministers exchanged views on the Commission's proposal for the EU's 2040 emission reduction target.

(Source: CNA)

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