Media reports: Deal to block PPWR agreed by Germany's finance minister and Italy


Last week, the first political trilogue was held to finalise the EU Packaging and Packaging Waste Regulation (PPWR). The negotiation teams of the EU Parliament, Council and Commission aim to enable the new Regulation to be adopted before the European elections in June.

However, Germany's finance minister Christian Lindner has reportedly promised the Italian government help in blocking the Regulation in return for Italy helping Germany to build a blocking minority for the Corporate Sustainability Due Diligence Directive (CSDDD). This was reported on Friday by the German news platform Table Media and its partner Focus, citing an internal memo.

Mr Lindner is a member of the liberal party FPD, the smallest party in Germany's uneasy coalition government. According to Focus, Mr Lindner's initiative would be another attempt by the finance minister to circumvent the Green Party and the social-democrat SPD, the other two parties making up the government. The FDP had already made several last-minute interventions at the EU level, the first of which was shoe-horning synthetic e-fuels into CO2 emission performance standards for new passenger cars and vans last year just before the preliminary trilogue agreement was to be confirmed by the Council and the Parliament.

Responsibility for Germany's position in the negotiations on the EU Packaging Regulation lies with the federal ministry for the environment, which is headed by Green Party member Steffi Lemke. At the last meeting of the EU Environment Council in December, Ms Lemke highlighted a number of issues during the debate, but subsequently agreed to the member states' negotiating mandate for the upcoming trilogue negotiations, the "general approach".

Italy did not support the mandate. During the debate, its environment minister Gilberto Pichetto Fratin identified the provisions on compostable packaging in Article 8 of the Regulation, the bans on single-use packaging in Article 22 and Annex V and the provisions on the reuse and refilling of packaging in Article 26 as the main concerns for Italy.

Next trilogue on 4 March

Pascal Canfin, the chairman of the European Parliament's Environment Committee, reported at the committee's meeting this week that some issues which he would describe as minor had been resolved at the first trilogue meeting last week. "Now we have the big one ahead of us on Monday 4 March", Mr Canfin said.

The time for finalising and adopting the PPWR before the end of the EU Parliament's current mandate is short. The provisional compromise text drawn up in the trilogue negotiations needs to be confirmed by the committees involved, which will meet for the last time in April, and then by the plenary. The last plenary session before the elections is scheduled for the final week of April.

The discussions on the PPWR in the EU Parliament and the Council are being accompanied by very intensive lobbying activities by various interest groups. The news platform Politico reported in late January that the President of the EU Parliament had tasked the institution's security service with an internal investigation into whether activities have breached the Parliament's rules.

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