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MEPs fail to agree on resolution to save circular economy package

Political groups in the European Parliament have failed to reach an agreement on a joint resolution to oppose the withdrawal of the policy package on the circular economy.

MEPs from the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats (Alde) had tried to reach a common position with groups across the political spectrum ahead of a parliamentary vote tomorrow on the European Commission’s 2015 work programme.

They hoped to overturn a Commission decision to drop policy packages on the circular economy and air quality.

But Alde said the withdrawal of the centre-right EPP and the conservative ECR groups from the negotiations caused the dismissal of the initiative.

Liberal Democrat MEP Catherine Bearder, who led the negotiations, said: “Conservative MEPs have utterly failed to stand up for measures to improve air quality and resource efficiency. Unfortunately, what could have been a strong, united position from the European Parliament has collapsed due to narrow political interests.”

A spokesman for EPP told MRW it preferred not to join the resolution because it believed that political parties should “let the Commission work”.

“We are in favour of the programme and will judge on the results,” he said. “Alde, on the contrary, as well as other groups, wants to influence the programme beforehand, which is limited against the right of the legislative initiative of the Commission in the treaties.”

A spokesman for ECR told MRW that the withdrawal of EPP shifted the balance of the resolution towards the left-wing groups. For this reason, ECR also decided to leave the negotiations.

But he noted that this did not prevent the others from continuing: “The Liberals, left wing and centre-left groups had an opportunity to submit a joint resolution, which would almost certainly have given them a sufficient majority to pass their resolution, and clearly decided not to.”

The groups have now presented separate resolutions.

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