Chemical plants will become safer in the EU – EP prerogatives safeguarded in Seveso.

Chemical plants will become safer in the EU – EP prerogatives safeguarded in Seveso.

2012. 03. 29.

The essential objective of this Directive is to define adequate obligations and security standards for the chemical industry. "The legislation aims to ensure high-level security for employees and citizens living in the immediate neighbourhood of an industrial establishment, the appropriate prevention of industrial accidents, and sets up an efficient system of inspection of the industrial plants by the competent authorities. Besides these objectives, EU obligations also deal with the necessity to elaborate emergency plans for the case of any type of industrial disaster that may occur", explained the Hungarian MEP, Member of the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety Committee of the European Parliament.

During the negotiation process, a traditional tension emerged with regards to the competences of the EP and the Council. As before, with the aim to ensure an unjustified level of influence, the Council strongly opposed the equal involvement of the EP in the decision-making process, disregarding the respective provisions of the Lisbon Treaty. This approach would have led to the exclusion of the European Parliament from the revision of the Directive. However, the EP delegation made it fully clear that the EP was not willing to abdicate any of the new prerogatives granted by the Lisbon Treaty. Thanks to this dedication and János Áder's convincing arguments, the European Parliament can fully participate in the revision of the legislation. For the first time since the entry into force of the Lisbon Treaty, the inter-institutional struggle between the EP and the Council has finally resulted in victory for the European Parliament.

"The discussion on the derogation list – the most controversial part of the Directive – focused on the question of whether specific substances and mixtures should be automatically included in the scope of the legislation, enforcing extremely strict obligations, or should they enjoy softer conditions. Eventually, the Council agreed to place the question of the derogation list under the co-decision procedure", said János Áder MEP.

"Concerning other dispositions, the co-legislators also found mutually-satisfying solutions that can be considered as a simultaneous and long-term guarantee for the maintenance of a high level of security and for the safeguard of industrial jobs. The Directive also ensures sustainable development for the industry and non-discriminatory market conditions", said János Áder.

The European Parliament will give its consent to the legislation in June. The revised Directive will enter into force from June 2015.