In a press release published on December 11, 2019, the European Commission (EC) announced the public presentation of ‘The European Green Deal,’ which is described as “a roadmap for making the EU’s economy sustainable by turning climate and environmental challenges into opportunities across all policy areas and making the transition just and inclusive for all.”

Regarding chemicals, the deal sets out that the Commission “will present a chemicals strategy for sustainability” in order “to ensure a toxic-free environment.” It aims to encourage all stakeholders to work together “to protect citizens and the environment better against hazardous chemicals and encourage innovation for the development of safe and sustainable alternatives.” The legal framework surrounding chemicals is set to be simplified and strengthened, including a move towards a process of ‘one substance – one assessment’ and to improve transparency when setting priority actions for chemicals. The deal further explains that at the same time “the regulatory framework will need to rapidly reflect scientific evidence on the risk posed by endocrine disruptors, hazardous chemicals in products including imports, combination effects of different chemicals and very persistent chemicals.” The deal also includes a ‘Farm to Fork’ strategy “to improve the sustainability of the food production and distribution system.”

In a separate roadmap document, specific actions related to the deal are specified along with a timetable for their completion. It has scheduled for a new circular economy action plan within an EU industrial strategy in March 2020, the new chemicals strategy for sustainability in summer 2020, as well as a zero-pollution action plan for water, air, and soil in 2021. A website dedicated to the deal provides a series of background documents describing the deal’s objectives as well as fact sheets for relevant policy areas. An additional communication provides answers to common questions about the deal.

The deal is being closely reviewed by various stakeholders. Leaked, draft versions of the deal were scrutinized earlier this week by non-governmental organizations, and the criticized wording has at least in part been adjusted in the final document. The released deal is also expected to create many further discussions between political parties and stakeholders in the months and years ahead as work on actions within the roadmap begin.

Read more

EC (December 11, 2019). “A European Green Deal.

EC (December 11, 2019). “The European Green Deal: Questions & Answers.”

EC (December 11, 2019). “The European Green Deal sets out how to make Europe the first climate-neutral continent by 2050, boosting the economy, improving people’s health and quality of life, caring for nature, and leaving no one behind.”

European Environmental Bureau (December 9, 2019). “Industry wish list ‘copy & pasted’ into EU Green Deal.”

Clelia Oziel (December 10, 2019). “Leaked EU Green Deal draft backtracks on chemical commitments, NGO says.Chemical Watch

Politico (December 11, 2019). “Europe’s Green Deal plan unveiled.”

Lorna Hutchinson (December 11, 2019). “‘Europe’s man on the moon moment’: Von der Leyen unveils EU Green Deal.The Parliament Magazine

CEPI (December 11, 2019). “PRESS RELEASE: The European paper industry is ready to rise to the climate challenge.

ECOS (December 11, 2019). “Press Release: Delivering the Green Deal with a transformative circular economy.

HEAL (December 11, 2019). “The European Green Deal identifies right areas for action but more urgency needed to meet zero pollution ambition and benefit health.

Nathaniel Keohane and Poppy Kalesi (December 11, 2019). “Europe outlines bold new climate vision, while underscoring value of methane emission reductions.Environmental Defense Fund

EP (December 12, 2019). “Green deal for Europe: First reactions from MEPs.

European Committee of the Regions (December 12, 2019). “Green Deal: cities and regions ready to deliver.

Iratxe Garcia and Sergei Stanishev (December 12, 2019). “The European Green Deal: an opportunity to lift everyone up.Euractiv

Clelia Oziel (December 12, 2019). “EU Green Deal promises new chemicals strategy for toxic-free environment.Chemical Watch

Center for International Environmental Law (December 12, 2019). “CIEL statement on the toxic dimensions of the European Green Deal.

Florence Schulz (December 13, 2019). “European Green Deal vague on pesticides, genetic engineering.Euractiv

European Environmental Bureau (December 11, 2019). “Next 12 months crucial as Green Deal commits EU to ‘deeply transformative policies’.”

Shahrzad Pourriahi (December 11, 2019). “European Bioplastics welcomes EU Green Deal.” Plastics News Europe

European Bioplastics (December 18, 2019). “Bioplastics industry with a crucial role in implementing the European Green Deal.”

Sarantis Michalopoulos and Natasha Foote (December 20, 2019). “Industry and farmers expect ‘science-based’ solutions to deliver New Green Deal.” Euractiv

CIEL (December 12, 2019). “CIEL Statement on the Toxic Dimensions of the European Green Deal.”

Endocrine Society (January 14, 2019). “Endocrine Society applauds EU Green Deal resolution.”


EC (December 11, 2019). “Communication on The European Green Deal.” (pdf)

EC (December 11, 2019). “Annex – Roadmap and key actions.” (pdf)