Tuesday, September 16, 2003
Overreaching - 16th September 2003, 23.03

With the failure of the talks at Cancun, we have seen the European Commission promote an agenda of eco-protectionism, diluting the core agenda of the World Trade Organisation with environmental assessments and the plastic discourse of sustainability.

However, the greens within the European Commission have started to pick a fight with the major economies over the application of the precautionary principle to their major industries. Their REACH proposal on testing every chemical compound has been received with alarm by the French and the Germans. Both countries already suffer from poor economic growth and can see the depressing consequences of this directive.

It looks like the proposed directive has little chance of being accepted by the European Council and may mark the high tide of green regulation under the Prodi Commission. One wonders what happened to their pledge to make the European Union ultracompetitive by 2010.


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