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Mercury: Aligning EU legislation with Minamata [EU Legislation in Progress]

Written by Didier Bourguignon (5th edition),

Mercury: Aligning EU legislation with Minamata

© natros / Fotolia

The United Nations’ Minamata Convention on mercury was agreed in 2013 with a view to protecting human health and the environment from the adverse effects of mercury. Although mercury use has declined significantly in recent decades, mercury released into the air, water and land remains a serious threat to human health and the environment.

Current EU policy bans exports of mercury, provides for the storage of mercury waste, restricts the use of mercury in various products and seeks to address pollution caused by it. However, there are some regulatory gaps between EU legislation and the Minamata Convention. The European Commission has recently submitted a legislative proposal aiming to align this legislation with the Convention in view of its ratification.

On 14 December 2016, Commission, Council and Parliament reached agreement in interinstitutional trilogue negotiations. The agreement, endorsed by Coreper on 16 December 2016 and by the ENVI Committee on 12 January 2017, is expected to be submitted for a first-reading vote in the March II plenary.




Proposal for a regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on mercury, and repealing Regulation (EC) No 1102/2008
Committee responsible:


Environment, Public Health and Food Safety (ENVI)

Stefan Eck (GUE/NGL, Germany)

COM(2015) 39 of 02.02.2016

procedure ref.:2016/0023(COD)

Ordinary legislative procedure

Next steps expected: Adoption in plenary


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  1. Pingback: Mercury Aligning EU legislation with Minamata [EU Legislation in Progress] | - March 22, 2016

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