Majority voting looms on landfills, ozone depleters

The glimmerings of an agreement on the proposed EC Directive on packaging waste were the most positive outcome of the Environment Council on 5 October. Efforts by the European Commission to break the deadlock on its proposed carbon/energy tax nudged the debate along only a fraction. The UK failed in its attempts to block the proposed landfill Directive on subsidiarity grounds, and now faces the possibility of being out-voted.

Reports on the Council's discussions on the packaging Directive and the carbon/energy tax are given in separate articles below.

The October meeting was the last at which legislation could have been adopted only by unanimity. Although a handful of environmental Directives have been subject to agreement by qualified majority vote in the past, the ground rules changed on 1 November, when the entry into force of the Maastricht Treaty cleared

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