By Fead-team
January 15, 2024 4min Read


Hello from Brussels. Happy new year from all of us at FEAD. New year, same us but with a new Presidency of the Council of the EU. Belgium has officially taken the mantle from the Spanish Presidency and has been busy presenting its programme to the different European bodies. The European Parliament’s ENVI Committee has been working full throttle, endorsing several agreements on topics such as ESPR, waste shipments, IED and more. 
At FEAD, we’ve been busy welcoming our new member from Portugal, CÍRCULO.
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ENVI Committee: The ENVI Committee of the European Parliament approved several agreements during their 11 January meeting. They approved agreements reached at the end of 2023 on the Industrial Emissions Directive (IED), the Ecodesign Regulation (ESPR), the Waste Shipment Regulation (WSR) and the regulation on the classification of chemical substances (CLP). 

Environment Council: The 2040 climate target will be on the agenda of the Environment Council of 25 March. It is during the six months of the Belgian Presidency that the Commission intends to unveil communication on the 2040 target.

Packaging and Packaging Waste Regulation (PPWR): The Trilogues began on 10 January. Eight technical meetings are scheduled until 31 January. The EU Council adopted its position at the end of December, under the Spanish Presidency, while Parliament endorsed its position in November.

Ecodesign for Sustainable Products Regulation (ESPR): According to EU Issue Tracker, the Trilogue agreement on the ESPR was validated by COREPER I during a meeting on 22 December and by the European Parliament’s ENVI Committee on 11 January.

Textile waste: On 15 December, the JRC report ‘Techno-scientific assessment of the  management options for used and waste textiles in the European Union’ was published

Strategic Technologies for Europe Platform (STEP): On 10 January, the Council’s partial negotiating mandate was agreed on. The platform aims to reduce the EU’s strategic dependencies and enhance its long-term competitiveness by supporting investments in critical technologies in the fields of digital and deep tech, clean tech and biotech in the EU. 

Microplastics Regulation: During the European Parliament’s ENVI Committee on 11 January, Rapporteur João Albuquerque (S&D, Portugal) presented his draft report on the proposal for a regulation on preventing plastic pellet losses to reduce microplastic pollution.

Energy Taxation: Energy taxation is not on the official agenda of the Belgian Presidency. The file is still blocked in the Council (due to a lack of unanimity) and in Parliament. 

Air pollutants: According to a study conducted by the data and statistics service of the Ministry of Ecological Transition of France, published on 9 January, European emissions of air pollutants have fallen over the past 20 years, particularly sulphur oxides. 

International Plastic Pollution Treaty: The secretariat of the intergovernmental negotiating committee has published, on 28 December, a revised draft text in light of the negotiating session held in November 2023. 

European Sustainability Reporting Standards (ESRS): The final delegated act with European Sustainability Reporting Standards (ESRS) was published in the Official Journal on 22 December 2023 and entered into force on 1 January 2024. 

EFRAG public consultation on ESRS implementation guidance documents: On 22 December 2023, EFRAG published the following three European Sustainability Reporting Standards Implementation Guidance (ESRS IG) documents for public consultation:
– Draft EFRAG IG 1: draft materiality assessment implementation guidance 
– Draft EFRAG IG 2: draft value chain implementation guidance 
– Draft EFRAG IG 3: draft ESRS data points implementation guidance with an explanatory note

Environmental Action Programme: The Commission has launched a mid-term evaluation of environmental action programme. The mid-term review of the eighth environmental action programme, in force until 2030, was requested by the EU Parliament and Council in 2021. 

The Global risks report: In the report published 10 January, the World Economic Forum stated that environmental threats are the main long-term risks. 

The Circularity Gap Report: The Circularity Gap Report was published in November and is the first study measuring the Circularity Gap of a city. The study assesses Munich’s material consumption, material cycling, consumption-based carbon footprint and other indicators. 

Future proofing the electronics industry report: The report was published in November 2023 and explores the potential of circular business models within the electronics industry, examining three models across four industry segments and throughout six lifecycle stages. 

Med4Waste best waste management practices: This catalogue, published in November 2023, aims to provide waste management experts and decision-makers in the Mediterranean region with an overview of successful practices, solutions and approaches in waste separation, collection, treatment and recycling in the Mediterranean.

COP29: Azerbaijani Minister of Ecology and Natural Resources Mukhtar Babayev has been appointed chair of the COP29 climate negotiations, which will take place in Baku in November 2024.

Belgium Presidency: In addition to the Environment Councils, which will be held on 25 March and 17 June, Belgium is organising numerous conferences and expert meetings during its Presidency.  

Council of the EU: Jan Van Elst has temporarily taken over the Transport, Telecommunications and Energy Directorate of the General Secretariat of the Council of the EU, according to an updated organisational chart of 1 January.

European Commission: Claudia Fusco was promoted to Director of General Affairs, Knowledge and Resources at the European Commission’s DG ENV, the institution announced on 10 January. 

FEAD news: FEAD has a new member from Portugal, CÍRCULO. CÍRCULO is an association based in Portugal that specialises in strengthening the value chain through the efficient use of resources and the recovery of secondary raw materials.

FEAD has released the second volume of our digital magazine. This edition features articles on PFAS, FEAD members’ reactions to the 2023 Waste Early Warning report and more.