Environment Ministers from across Europe are meeting today with revisions to waste shipping legislation on the agenda.
The main item on the agenda in the first formal Environment Council under the Lithuanian Presidency will be the proposed regulation on waste shipments with European Environment Ministers expected to exchange their views on the topic.
They will discuss what are described as “flawed” inspection regimes by the EU. At least 2.8 million tonnes of waste illegally shipped every year, typically to Africa or Asia, according to the EU.
The EU is proposing that illegal exports will be cut by improving Member States’ inspections, giving greater powers to inspectors and harmonising the EU system to prevent exporters from exploiting lax arrangements that currently prevail in certain ports.
Ministers will consider the scope of the proposed amendments, including requirements for Member States to develop inspection plans, and discuss whether the proposals strike the appropriate balance between ensuring a minimum level playing field and allowing Member States the necessary degree of flexibility.
The European Commission will be represented by Environment Commissioner Janez Potočnik and Climate Change Commissioner Connie Hedegaard.
Other topics discussed at the meeting will include green infrastructure and emissions from international shipping.