GUE/NGL
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Tougher new measures against mercury likely after Committee approval

The European Parliament’s Committee on Environment, Public Health and Food Safety (ENVI) today approved a report by GUE/NGL MEP Stefan Eck on the ratification of the Minamata Convention that aims to protect human health and the environment from the effects of mercury and its compounds. 

A second vote gave the GUE/NGL rapporteur a mandate to negotiate with the Council the conditions and timing of the EU ratification process and the implementation of the new mercury regulation. 

The German MEP highlighted the importance of the proposed legislation:

“It is urgent that we implement such measures to protect citizens and the environment from the harmful effects of mercury. The Commission took almost two years to propose this new regulation yet the ENVI Committee has done a commendable effort in delivering the reviewed text on time.”

“By endorsing this set of proposed compromise, the ENVI Committee has shown that it takes the threat from mercury seriously. It is extremely harmful for the planet and for the health of our citizens,” added Eck.

Mercury is among the world’s top ten pollutants. More than 22 networks and NGOs from member states expressed support for the Eck report. It calls for controls and reductions across a range of products, processes and industries where mercury is used, released or emitted.

The next stage will be to push for a swift implementation of these measures at the national level: 

“It is of utmost importance to achieve a deal with member states as quickly as possible but it also requires a sincere effort from our leaders. If governments are serious about their international commitments they must abide by the spirit of the convention.  Local, national or business interests should not be in the way of a mercury-free future for Europe!” concluded the German MEP.