5 March 2018
12:10 Public session
16:30 Press conference
Urgent action is needed to protect our oceans and seas from an invasion of plastics
Ministers had an exchange of views on two Commission initiatives under the Circular Economy Action Plan: the European strategy for plastics in a circular economy and the interface between chemicals, products and waste. The proposed new rules aim to limit the negative environmental impact of plastics and microplastic particles, as well as hazardous chemical substances, respectively. In their discussions, ministers focused on approaches to promote a substantial increase in the use of recycled plastics, as well as the safe recovery of waste containing substances of concern.
We need to protect our environment from plastic pollution. We also need to protect our seas from microplastic particles. Today we have made a very important first step towards commitments which will enable us to deliver on our promise to protect the environment and the health of our citizens.
Neno Dimov, the Bulgarian Minister for Environment and Water
Over lunch ministers exchanged views with Commissioner Vella on eco-innovation in the context of the circular economy.
Greening the European Semester
Ministers had the opportunity to exchange views on the European Semester process. They also discussed the environment related aspects of the Annual Growth Survey. Ministers also discussed how environmental challenges, sustainable development and climate change can be reflected in the EU's Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF) post-2020.
Recalling the proven potential of environmental policy to promote jobs and growth through green sustainable investments and finance, ministers underlined the need for appropriate representation of environmental challenges in the MFF.
Other topics on the agenda
In a public session, the Council had the opportunity to hear a presentation by the Commission on the legislative proposal concerning the CO2 standards for cars and vans. The information by the Polish delegation on COP24 and related climate change actions was also broadcast live.