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POPs - Persistent Organic Pollutants

Consultation on the Community Implementation Plan of the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs)

This consultation was open for 9 weeks and was closed on 10 October 2006.

The replies to this consultation will help the Commission in its considerations regarding the Community Implementation plan of the Stockholm Convention on POPs. The final Community Implementation Plan will be elaborated during autumn 2006 based on the draft version and the comments received in this consultation. It will be sent to the Secretariat of the Stockholm Convention before the 14 February 2007.

Aims of the consultation

The consultation aimed at providing the Commission with views and comments of stakeholders on:

  1. the draft Community Implementation Plan on POPs in general; and
  2. the conclusions of a study on possible EU measures to reduce releases of by-products POPs, with a view to identifying such measures to be included in the final Community Implementation Plan.

Who should participate?

This consultation was addressed to any interested citizen and to experts in the field of POPs.

Access to the documents for consultation

Main stakeholders, including NGOs, were directly approached to provide comments. It was also possible to access the documents relevant for this consultation by requesting an access to the dedicated CIRCA site.

Background information

Obligation to develop an implementation plan

The Stockholm Convention on POPs lays down an obligation to all Parties to develop and endeavour to implement a plan for the implementation of its obligations under the Convention.

The Community became a Party to the Stockholm Convention in February 2004. Although it is not a country Party but a Regional Economic Integration Organisation (REIO), the obligation to develop an Implementation Plan applies to the Community. This obligation is also transferred to the Regulation (EC) No 850/2004 on POPs. While the plans developed by the country parties are called National Implementation Plans, the Community level plan is hereafter called the Community Implementation Plan.

The Community is also a Party to the regional UNECE Protocol on POPs. This Protocol contains a similar albeit less demanding obligation to "develop appropriate strategies and policies" to implement the provisions of the Protocol.

Purpose of the Community Implementation Plan

The Implementation Plan is first and foremost meant to assist the Party to analyse how it will meet its obligations under the Convention.

It should also help the Party to prioritise its actions and provide a framework for effective implementation. The plan is, however, not a final result in itself but merely a tool.

For the Community, the development of the Community Implementation Plan provides an opportunity to:

  • take stock of legal and other Community level measures related to control of POPs;
  • assess their efficiency and sufficiency in meeting the obligations of the Convention;
  • identify needs for possible additional measures and
  • lay down a plan for implementation of these measures.

Moreover, the Community Implementation Plan should assist the Commission and the Member States to identify and strengthen links and synergies between POP management and different environmental policy areas and also other policy fields and raise awareness on POPs in general.

The plan addresses not only the 12 POPs currently listed in the Stockholm Convention but also the four other substances listed in the UNECE Protocol. It also pays attention to how further POP candidates can be identified and managed efficiently. Since the EU Member States are developing their own National Implementation Plans, the roles of the Community and the Member States in the implementation of the Convention obligations have been taken into account in order to avoid unnecessary duplication of efforts.