Subsidiarity enters eco-label debate on detergents and paints

A breakthrough in the lengthy negotiations on EC eco-labelling criteria for household detergents at last appears to be in sight - but at the price of fragmenting the EC market. Detergents may now qualify for an eco-label in one Member State even if they contain ingredients which are banned or restricted in others. A similar approach is being put forward in a dispute about the solvent content of paints and varnishes. But there are unresolved doubts whether this application of the "subsidiarity" principle is consistent with the EC eco-labelling Regulation.

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