Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

Commission reviews environmental standards in the new Member States

Under the Act of Accession of Austria, Finland and Sweden to the EU, a review clause allows the new Member States to maintain their existing provisions in the fields of health and the environment where these are different to those in the EU. Under the Act, during a four year t...
Under the Act of Accession of Austria, Finland and Sweden to the EU, a review clause allows the new Member States to maintain their existing provisions in the fields of health and the environment where these are different to those in the EU. Under the Act, during a four year transition period until the end of 1998, the Commission will review the provisions of Community law with a view to adapting it to incorporate the different national provisions.

The European Commission and the authorities from Austria, Finland and Sweden recently held a high level coordination meeting to review progress in the process. The results of the meeting show that the review process is progressing and that good results have already been achieved.

The Commission is examining technical issues in the areas where the new Member States provisions differ from the Community's, including through working groups and studies. In some cases, the Commission has already proposed changes to community legislation in the form of "adaptations to technical progress". Examples of areas where Community legislation is being reviewed include:

- Classification, packaging and labelling of dangerous substances and preparations;
- Classification, packaging and labelling of pesticides;
- Marketing and use of pentachlorphenol, cadmium, organostannic compounds and arsenic;
- Composition of alkaline manganese batteries;
- Benzene content of petrol;
- Sulphur content of gasoil.
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