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General

European Parliament ‘own-initiative’ report Ecodesign (GEN – 869.00)

24 January 2018

3 min read
European Policy
General

European Parliament ‘own-initiative’ report Ecodesign (GEN – 869.00)

24 January 2018

3 min read

GEN – 869.00. In mid-2017, the Conference of Presidents, consisting of the President of Parliament and the chairmen of the political groups, authorised the setting up of a Committee to draw up a non-legislative report on Ecodesign.

Introduction

The European Parliament own-initiatives show where the interest of some Members of the European Parliament lie. These reports do not result in a measurement (Directive or Regulation). Yet, they point out where future activities could or could not evolve. In the past, most of the legislative initiatives have been initiated by the European Commission.

The European Parliament and the political groups in the Parliament can and may wish to use own-initiatives to drive the political agenda.

This adds another dimension when representing interests that must be viewed with long-term perspectives.

ENVI Impact Assessment study and ITRE opinion

The European Parliamentary Research Service has drafted a 156-page Implementation Assessment study for the Environment (ENVI) Committee. This report was released at the end of November 2017.

The ITRE Committee published its opinion on 18 December 2017 and debated this on 22 January. During the debate, the points of the opinion were reiterated and stressed:

  • Expanding the scope to more ICT-related consumer products (e.g. smartphones).
  • Broaden ecodesign criteria to include: resource efficiency, material circularity, durability, upgradeability, reparability and recyclability as a motor for job creation.
  • Respect the deadline for the adoption of ecodesign measures (individually and not in a package). Voluntary agreements should no longer be given the priority.
  • Optimise market surveillance through cooperation between the Commission and the Member States and to consider by an independent body / third party certification where testing methods are like to real-use conditions
  • Ensure structural funding for the adequate monitoring of the policy development, including market surveillance.
  • The revision of Ecodesign and its future orientation will be up to the next Commission, that will be elected in May 2019.

For the Implementation Assessment study, 27 stakeholders were interviewed with the aim of obtaining opinions. Most stakeholders, including those of the Member States (BE, DE, DK, PL, PT, UK) are participants in the Consultation Forum/Regulatory Committee.

The study has looked at 6 product groups of which “professional refrigerating and freezing equipment” and “heaters” are of relevance for Eurovent members. It should be noted that the key findings for professional refrigeration refers to vacuum cleaners and at other places there is some sloppiness in the report.

The Implementation Assessment notes in the literatures and industry positions they have come across that “many stakeholders claim that double regulation on products is currently not an issue, but as more material efficiency requirements are included in the Ecodesign, there is a risk that double regulation could become a problem. Double regulation might occur in different ways. For example, it can occur when the scope of different regulations overlap, i.e. one aspect of a product is regulated under several different pieces of legislation. It can also occur when a product is regulated twice under Ecodesign. The latter instance refers to regulating a component of a product as well as the system it is built into (for example, regulating the motor in a washing machine as well as the washing machine itself)”. Elsewhere it is mentioned that “regulating components in a product as well as the product itself endangers freedom to innovate as it imposes constraints that add costs”.

The study does not contain a conclusion or recommendation on this issue.

Tentative schedule for adopting the own-initiative report

  • 21 March 2018: ITRE vote on opinion
  • 25 April 2018: ENVI vote
  • 25 May 2018: Vote in the European Parliament Plenary

Recommended Actions

No immediate impact is expected from the own-initiative report. Associations and manufacturers are advised to take note of the report as it may provide guidance for the revision of the Ecodesign Directive that is expected to start in 2019.

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