Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2001-11-15-Speech-4-133"

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". I wish to explain my reasons for voting in favour of this report as amended. First of all, I feel that it adopts a balanced position, which will improve environmental protection and public health on the one hand and which maintains the competitiveness of the chemical industry on the other, in line with the strategy for sustainable development adopted in Göteborg. We must understand the fact that only a tiny minority of the more than 100 000 chemical substances in existence have to date been tested and that, furthermore, they are being produced in greater numbers each year. Consequently, only 14% of chemical substances produced in a quantity of more than one tonne are given a classification under the current system. The tragic events in Toulouse recently demonstrated the urgent need to close this gap in our knowledge. At the same time, we need to create a system of registration, assessment and authorisation that is ‘manageable’ for public authorities and that the industry can, in due course, supplement with the necessary data. The report’s approach seems to be equally balanced because, apart from purely environmental considerations, it takes account of various socio-economic aspects of prospective legislation, not least the fact that workers in the chemical industry are more exposed, and the specific constraints affecting small and medium-sized enterprises. Similarly, the report favours transparency whilst respecting data protection and industrial secrecy, which I think is to be welcomed. Clear references to the precautionary principle and the substitution principle have, furthermore, been added to the Commission text. Lastly, one of the most important points, to my mind, is still the requirement for substances to be registered, even if some of them are only registered in a simplified form. It is often the substances produced in smaller quantities that are the most dangerous for health or for the environment. I also feel that the timetables put forward in the report are appropriate because they are realistic. I am very pleased that the White Paper will be followed up with a range of legislative proposals by the Commission and I look forward with great interest to seeing them."@en1

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