|Series Title||European Voice|
|Series Details||Vol 7, No.2, 11.1.01, p22|
EURO-MPs are set to give industry a boost by arguing against radical changes to draft rules on recycling electrical equipment which would result in an increased burden on firms in the sector.
Diplomats say member states are also a long way from approving the same changes, which businesses claim would add billions of euro to their costs.
At a meeting last month, a majority of Union environment ministers favoured a plan to merge two related proposals: one requires EU governments to set minimum standards for the disposal of electronic waste ranging from computer screens to tea kettles.
The other sets Union-wide rules for banning harmful substances such as lead solder from use in electrical equipment and seeks to safeguard the single market by harmonising the rules across all member states.
Combining the two measures would allow member states to add other dangerous substances to the basic list of banned materials. But firms such as US computer giant Hewlett Packard and engineering lobby Orgalime warn that it also would harm the single market by potentially forcing companies to comply with different standards in each member state at huge cost.
Diplomats insist the issue had barely been discussed at the meeting and would be examined in greater detail during the next six months. The preliminary debate revealed widely divergent views among countries, they add.
German Christian Democrat MEP Karl Heinz Florenz is also set to oppose the move in his report on electrical scrap proposals to the Parliament's environment committee later this month. A full vote of the assembly is not expected before April.
Florenz favours high environmental standards but shares the fears of companies which claim merging the proposals would create trade distortions.
Euro-MPs are set to give industry a boost by arguing against radical changes to draft rules on recycling electrical equipment which would result in an increased burden on firms in the sector.