The European Parliament approved the trilogue compromise on the EU Battery Regulation in its plenary session on Wednesday. After the Council has formally endorsed it, too, completing its final adoption, the new Regulation will enter into force after its publication in the EU Official Journal. As in the Parliament, the Council's approval is considered a formality, and is expected to take place at one of the next Council meetings.
In Parliament, the new regulation was adopted with 587 votes in favour. Nine MEPs voted against it and 20 abstained. The new EU rules cover all types of rechargeable and non-rechargeable batteries for all applications – portable, industrial and starter batteries as well as traction batteries for electromobility - from product design and raw materials to the waste management and recycling of end-of-life batteries.
“For the first time, we have circular economy legislation that covers the entire life cycle of a product - an approach that is good for both the environment and the economy. We agreed on measures that greatly benefit consumers: batteries will be well-functioning, safer and easier to remove," commented the Italian MEP Achille Variati, the Parliament's lead rapporteur for the legislation project.
"Our overall aim is to build a stronger EU recycling industry, particularly for lithium, and a competitive industrial sector as a whole, which is crucial in the coming decades for our continent’s energy transition and strategic autonomy. These measures could become a benchmark for the entire global battery market," Mr Variati said.
The main changes and additions compared to the EU Directive on batteries and waste batteries currently in force include stricter targets for the collection of end-of-life products. The new Regulation also introduces minimum quotas for the recovery of certain metals from spent batteries and minimum levels of recycled content in new batteries.