The principal aim of waste management policy must be compliance with existing EU law in all Member States. The waste hierarchy of the Waste Framework Directive already obliges the Member States to regard the use of landfill only as a final resort for disposing of plastics. A general ban on landfill and the imposition of targets for recycling plastic waste is therefore misguided. Product design rules based on the Ecodesign Directive massively restrict the supplier's design possibilities and the consumer's freedom of choice.
Standard EU recycling targets ignore the varying conditions in the Member States and violate the principle of subsidiarity. The quantitative target for avoiding food waste is disproportionate and therefore violates EU law. The new early-warning system means that the Commission can react more quickly to deficits in the implementation of waste legislation in the Member States.
Uniform recycling targets will result in better compliance with the waste hierarchy prescribed by EU law but they ignore the differing conditions in the Member States and are in breach of the principle of subsidiarity. The new early warning system will at least allow the Commission to react more quickly to emerging deficits in the implementation of waste law by Member States.
The Commission is right in primarily criticising the implementation of EU rules on the management of bio-waste. It is, however, not comprehensible, why several Member States should receive EU subsidies. To be welcomed are the EU-wide standards for compost which increase market transparency and facilitate the marketing of compost in the internal market and provide new incentives for an environmentally friendly management of bio-waste.
The introduction of binding minimum rates for the collection, recovery, re-use and recycling of waste electrical and electronic equipment is inherently inappropriate, as producers have virtually no influence on the attainability of these rates. However, the proposed simplification of the reporting obligations for producers is to be welcomed, as this increases efficiency.
The promotion of an internal energy market and the announced legal framework for the safe storage of nuclear waste are to be welcomed. It is also correct that the expansion EU energy networks should be better coordinated. However, this project should take into account the geographic location of energy production from renewable energies. Though it is positive that the Commission intends to employ market-based instruments in its climate policy, it should, however, cease to apply regulatory policy measures such as product regulation in future.