BETA


2022/0344(COD) Protection of groundwater against pollution and environmental quality standards in the field of water policy

Progress: Awaiting Council's 1st reading position

RoleCommitteeRapporteurShadows
Lead ENVI BRGLEZ Milan (icon: S&D S&D) MELBĀRDE Dace (icon: EPP EPP), THUN UND HOHENSTEIN Róża (icon: Renew Renew), NIINISTÖ Ville (icon: Verts/ALE Verts/ALE), CONTE Rosanna (icon: ID ID), KARSKI Karol (icon: ECR ECR), MESURE Marina (icon: GUE/NGL GUE/NGL)
Committee Opinion BUDG
Committee Opinion ITRE GÁLVEZ MUÑOZ Lina (icon: S&D S&D) Ville NIINISTÖ (icon: Verts/ALE Verts/ALE), Martin HOJSÍK (icon: RE RE), Pietro FIOCCHI (icon: ECR ECR), Pernille WEISS (icon: PPE PPE)
Committee Opinion AGRI HÄUSLING Martin (icon: Verts/ALE Verts/ALE) Zbigniew KUŹMIUK (icon: ECR ECR), Ulrike MÜLLER (icon: RE RE), Sandra PEREIRA (icon: GUE/NGL GUE/NGL), Cristina MAESTRE MARTÍN DE ALMAGRO (icon: S&D S&D), Ivan DAVID (icon: ID ID), Dan-Ştefan MOTREANU (icon: PPE PPE)
Committee Opinion PECH
Lead committee dossier:
Legal Basis:
TFEU 192-p1

Events

2024/04/24
   EP - Text adopted by Parliament, 1st reading/single reading
Documents
2024/04/24
   EP - Decision by Parliament, 1st reading
Documents
2023/09/15
   PT_PARLIAMENT - Contribution
Documents
2023/09/12
   EP - Results of vote in Parliament
2023/09/12
   EP - Decision by Parliament, 1st reading
Details

The European Parliament adopted by 495 votes to 12, with 124 abstentions, amendments to the proposal for a directive of the European Parliament and of the Council amending Directive 2000/60/EC establishing a framework for Community action in the field of water policy, Directive 2006/118/EC on the protection of groundwater against pollution and deterioration and Directive 2008/105/EC on environmental quality standards in the field of water policy.

The matter was referred back to the committee responsible for inter-institutional negotiations.

Common good and a heritage

Parliament underlined that water is a public good for the benefit of all which, as an essential natural resource that is irreplaceable and indispensable to life, needs to be carefully considered in the light of its social, economic and environmental dimensions. Climate change, including the increased frequency of natural disasters and extreme weather events, and the degradation of biodiversity, both negatively affect water quality and quantity, leading to pressure on sectors dependent on the availability of water, particularly agriculture.

Progressive reduction of priority hazardous substances

According to Members, Member States should implement the necessary measures to progressively reduce pollution discharges, emissions and losses from priority substances , and to cease or phase out emissions, discharges and losses of priority hazardous substances within an appropriate timeline and, in any case, not later than 20 years after a given priority substance is listed as hazardous in Part A of Annex I to Directive 2008/105/EC.

Emerging and new substances

The number of substances or groups of substances to be monitored and analysed under the watch lists for surface water and groundwater should not be limited .

Members proposed that the watch list - which lists substances or groups of substances for which there are indications that they present a significant risk to human health and the environment - should contain a minimum of five substances or groups of substances of emerging concern selected from amongst those substances for which the information available, also in accordance with sub-paragraph four below, indicates that they may pose a significant risk at Union level to, or via, the aquatic environment, and for which the monitoring data are insufficient. This list should be updated regularly to take account of new scientific evidence.

In addition to the minimum number of substances or groups of substances, the watch list could also contain pollution indicators .

Members propose that a number of substances be added to the list as soon as appropriate monitoring methods have been identified. These include micro-plastics, antimicrobial resistant micro-organisms and certain antimicrobial resistance genes, as well as possibly sulphates, xanthates and non-relevant metabolites of pesticides.

Groundwater pollution

Members considered that a precautionary approach should be applied when setting groundwater threshold values to protect human health, groundwater ecosystems and groundwater-dependent ecosystems. The threshold values applicable to groundwater should normally be 10 times lower than the corresponding threshold values for surface waters . However, where the actual risk posed to the groundwater eco-systems can be established, it could be appropriate to set threshold values for groundwater at a different level.

Each Member State should select at least two monitoring stations, plus the number of stations equal to its total area in km2 of groundwater bodies divided by 30 000.

Members also wanted a subset of specific PFAS (perfluoroalkylated and polyfluoroalkylated substances) and ‘PFAS Total’ (a parameter that includes all PFAS with a maximum concentration) to be added to the list of groundwater pollutants. They also want stricter standards for glyphosate, bisphenol (bisphenols total), atrazine, pharmaceuticals and non-relevant metabolites of pesticides.

Based on the precautionary principle, a common and unified AA-EQS for inland surface waters and, separately, for other surface waters, should be adopted in relation to glyphosate .

Extended producer responsibility

Members considered that, in accordance with the polluter pays principle, producers placing on the Union market products that contain substances which have a proven or potential negative impact on human health and the aquatic environment take financial responsibility for the measures required to control substances generated in the context of their commercial activities and found in surface water and groundwater. The Commission is called on to examine the creation of an extended producer responsibility mechanism.

European monitoring facility

Monitoring of an increased number of substances or group of substances involves increased costs but also the need for strengthened administrative capacity in the Member States, especially those with scarcer resources. In light of the above, the Commission should set up a joint European monitoring facility for managing the monitoring requirements when so requested by the Member States, thus easing their financial and administrative burdens. The use of such facility should be voluntary.

Access to justice

Member States should ensure that members of the public, in accordance with national law, that have a sufficient interest or that allege the impairment of a right, have access to a review procedure before a court of law, or another independent and impartial body established by law, to challenge the substantive or procedural legality of all decisions, acts or omissions under this Directive.

Documents
2023/09/12
   EP - Matter referred back to the committee responsible
2023/09/11
   EP - Debate in Parliament
2023/07/12
   EP - Committee report tabled for plenary, 1st reading
Details

The Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety adopted the report by Milan BRGLEZ (S&D, SI) on the proposal for a directive of the European Parliament and of the Council amending Directive 2000/60/EC establishing a framework for Community action in the field of water policy, Directive 2006/118/EC on the protection of groundwater against pollution and deterioration and Directive 2008/105/EC on environmental quality standards in the field of water policy.

This new legislative proposal presented by the European Commission brings forward a revision of the Water Framework Directive together with its two ‘daughter’ Directives, the Groundwater Directive and the Environmental Quality Standard Directive with the purpose to improve the EU water legislation towards achieving its overarching objective of protecting human health and natural ecosystems from toxic pollutants.

The committee responsible recommended that the European Parliament's position adopted at first reading under the ordinary legislative procedure should amend the proposal as follows:

Progressive reduction of priority hazardous substances

According to Members, the Commission should adopt the necessary legislation and Member States shall implement the necessary measures to progressively reduce pollution discharges, emissions and losses from priority substances , and to cease or phase out emissions, discharges and losses of priority hazardous substances within an appropriate timeline and, in any case, not later than 20 years after a given priority substance is listed as hazardous in Part A of Annex I to Directive 2008/105/EC.

That timeline should apply without prejudice to the application of stricter timelines in any other applicable Union legislation.

Emerging and new substances

Members proposed that the watch list - which lists substances or groups of substances for which there are indications that they present a significant risk to human health and the environment - should not be limited to a maximum number as proposed by the Commission. The watch list should contain at least five substances or groups of substances and specify, for each substance, the applicable monitoring matrices and any analysis methods. This list should be updated regularly to take account of new scientific evidence.

The substances or groups of substances to be placed on the watch list should be selected from among those substances which, on the basis of available information, could pose a significant risk at Union level to or via the aquatic environment, and for which monitoring data are insufficient. In addition to the minimum number of substances or groups of substances, the watch list could also contain pollution indicators.

Members propose that a number of substances be added to the list as soon as appropriate monitoring methods have been identified. These include micro-plastics, antimicrobial resistant micro-organisms and certain antimicrobial resistance genes, as well as possibly sulphates, xanthates and non-relevant metabolites of pesticides.

Groundwater pollution

Members considered that a precautionary approach should be applied when setting groundwater threshold values to protect human health, groundwater ecosystems and groundwater-dependent ecosystems. The threshold values applicable to groundwater should normally be 10 times lower than the corresponding threshold values for surface waters . However, where the actual risk posed to the groundwater eco-systems can be established, it could be appropriate to set threshold values for groundwater at a different level.

Each Member State should select at least two monitoring stations, plus the number of stations equal to its total area in km2 of groundwater bodies divided by 30 000.

The Commission should, not later than four years after the date of entry into force of this Directive, publish an assessment of the impacts of physico-chemical elements, like pH, oxygenation, and temperature, on health of groundwater ecosystems, accompanied, where appropriate, by a legislative proposal to revise this Directive accordingly, in order to set the corresponding parameters, provide for harmonised monitoring methods, and define what would constitute a good ecological status for groundwater.

The Commission should publish an assessment of the chemical status of areas characterised by high ecological value, vulnerability or pollution, such as caves and karst areas, former industrial sites and other areas with known historical contamination, accompanied, where appropriate, by a legislative proposal to revise this Directive.

Members also wanted a subset of specific PFAS (perfluoroalkylated and polyfluoroalkylated substances) and ‘ PFAS Total ’ (a parameter that includes all PFAS with a maximum concentration) to be added to the list of groundwater pollutants. They also want stricter standards for glyphosate, bisphenol (bisphenols total), atrazine, pharmaceuticals and non-relevant metabolites of pesticides.

In particular, the report proposed the adoption of the following EQS for glyphosate , based on the precautionary principle: a common, unified environmental quality standard expressed as an annual mean value (AA-EQS) of 0.1 μg/L for inland surface waters; a common, unified environmental quality standard expressed as an annual mean value (AA-EQS) of 0.01 μg/L for other surface waters.

Extended producer responsibility

According to Members, introducing the provision on extended producer responsibility would ensure the respective legislation lives up to the polluter pays principle particularly when it comes to financing of monitoring programmes. The Commission is called on to examine the creation of an extended producer responsibility mechanism .

Access to justice

The report proposes to enhance the provision on access to justice in environmental matters by concretely defining this right within the relevant legislation and thereby ensuring national courts across the Union abide by this provision making possible for the applicants to be able to rely on national laws when challenging decisions by public authorities that are in breach of the water framework directive.

Documents
2023/06/27
   EP - Vote in committee, 1st reading
2023/06/26
   IT_SENATE - Contribution
Documents
2023/06/13
   EP - Committee opinion
Documents
2023/05/24
   EP - Committee opinion
Documents
2023/05/22
   DE_BUNDESRAT - Contribution
Documents
2023/04/25
   EP - GÁLVEZ MUÑOZ Lina (S&D) appointed as rapporteur in ITRE
2023/04/04
   EP - Amendments tabled in committee
Documents
2023/04/04
   EP - Amendments tabled in committee
Documents
2023/03/21
   ES_PARLIAMENT - Contribution
Documents
2023/03/13
   CZ_SENATE - Contribution
Documents
2023/02/22
   ESC - Economic and Social Committee: opinion, report
Documents
2023/02/20
   EP - Committee draft report
Documents
2023/01/19
   EP - Committee referral announced in Parliament, 1st reading
2023/01/11
   EP - BRGLEZ Milan (S&D) appointed as rapporteur in ENVI
2022/12/08
   EP - HÄUSLING Martin (Verts/ALE) appointed as rapporteur in AGRI
2022/10/27
   EC - Document attached to the procedure
2022/10/27
   EC - Document attached to the procedure
2022/10/27
   EC - Document attached to the procedure
2022/10/26
   EC - Legislative proposal published
Details

PURPOSE: to update lists of water pollutants to be more strictly controlled in surface waters and groundwater.

PROPOSED ACT: Directive of the European Parliament and of the Council.

ROLE OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT: the European Parliament decides in accordance with the ordinary legislative procedure and on an equal footing with the Council.

BACKGROUND: EU water legislation shares an overarching objective of protecting human health and the environment from the combined effects of toxic and/or persistent pollutants.

This proposal covers amendments to three Directives:

- Directive 2000/60/EC establishing a framework for Community action in the field of water policy,

- Directive 2006/118/EC on the protection of groundwater against pollution and deterioration,

- Directive 2008/105/EC on environmental quality standards (EQS) in the field of water policy.

The Commission conducted a review of the list of priority substances in the Annexes of the Directives and concluded, in the light of new scientific knowledge, that it is appropriate to amend those lists.

PURPOSE: with this proposal, the Commission aims to protect European citizens and natural ecosystems from risks posed by pollutants and their mixtures. The ultimate aim of the initiative is to set new standards for a series of chemical substances of concern to address chemical pollution in water, to facilitate enforcement based on a simplified and more coherent legal framework , to ensure dynamic and up-to-date information on water status , facilitated by the European Environment Agency (EEA), and create a more flexible framework for addressing pollutants of emerging concern. This would be based on wide stakeholder involvement as well as sound scientific support from the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) to ensure maximum synergies and coherence across EU laws on chemicals.

More specifically, the proposal will:

- reduce concentrations of acutely toxic and/or persistent chemicals in surface and groundwater. Benefits will include reduced impacts on the environment, human health, pollinators and agriculture;

- improve the quality of oceans, lakes, rivers, streams, estuaries, and wetlands and of the services they deliver such as clean water, rich soils and a high biodiversity;

- limit or avoid future costs of water treatment by reducing pollution at the source;

make chemical monitoring data more easily available, accessible and re-usable which will be useful for a better safety assessment of chemicals altogether;

- require that Member State authorities warn immediately downstream Member States in the same river basin, as well as the Commission, in case of exceptional circumstances of natural origin or force majeure, in particular extreme floods, prolonged droughts, or significant pollution incidents. This will provide faster and better response to events such as the Oder river pollution from summer 2022;

- work on tools to monitor and develop a policy response to problematic substances, such as microplastics and antimicrobial genes;

- support the ‘one substance, one assessment approach' where the same chemical is evaluated in the same way regarding the risk it poses by different EU laws and policies to limit regulatory burden;

- ensure more dynamic and up-to-date information on water status facilitated by the European Environment Agency.

The new rules recognise the cumulative or combined effects of mixtures shifting away from the current focus on individual substances solely. Furthermore, the proposal takes account of seasonal variations in the amount of pollution, such as in the case of pesticides used by farmers during planting seasons.

The current proposal is also consistent with the recently revised Drinking Water Directive, which enters into force in 2023. By aiming to reduce pollution of surface and groundwaters, it will protect vital drinking water sources and reduce the cost of treatment. The Drinking Water Directive and this proposal address a wide range of pollutants, in particular pesticides, pharmaceuticals and the group of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS).

Budgetary implications

The proposal will have budgetary implications for the Commission (EUR 500 000), the European Environment Agency (EEA) (EUR 7 million) and the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) (EUR 8.9 million) in terms of human and administrative resources required.

Documents

Activities

Votes

Polluants des eaux de surface et des eaux souterraines - A9-0238/2023 - Milan Brglez - Proposition de la Commission #

2023/09/12 Outcome: +: 495, 0: 124, -: 12
DE FR ES IT RO PL PT NL BE EL AT SE BG IE DK FI LT HR HU CZ SK SI LV CY MT EE LU
Total
86
74
53
65
29
45
21
27
19
19
17
20
14
13
13
12
11
12
16
19
9
8
7
6
5
6
5
icon: PPE PPE
158

Denmark PPE

For (1)

1

Hungary PPE

1

Latvia PPE

2

Cyprus PPE

2

Malta PPE

For (1)

1

Estonia PPE

For (1)

1

Luxembourg PPE

1
icon: S&D S&D
128

Belgium S&D

1

Greece S&D

1

Denmark S&D

2

Finland S&D

1

Lithuania S&D

2

Czechia S&D

For (1)

1

Slovenia S&D

2

Latvia S&D

2

Cyprus S&D

2

Estonia S&D

2

Luxembourg S&D

For (1)

1
icon: Renew Renew
94

Poland Renew

1

Greece Renew

1

Sweden Renew

Abstain (1)

3

Bulgaria Renew

2

Ireland Renew

2

Finland Renew

3

Lithuania Renew

1

Croatia Renew

For (1)

1

Hungary Renew

2

Slovakia Renew

2

Slovenia Renew

2

Latvia Renew

For (1)

1

Estonia Renew

2

Luxembourg Renew

2
icon: Verts/ALE Verts/ALE
66

Italy Verts/ALE

3

Romania Verts/ALE

1

Poland Verts/ALE

For (1)

1

Portugal Verts/ALE

1

Netherlands Verts/ALE

3

Belgium Verts/ALE

3

Austria Verts/ALE

3

Sweden Verts/ALE

3

Ireland Verts/ALE

2

Denmark Verts/ALE

2

Finland Verts/ALE

2

Lithuania Verts/ALE

2

Czechia Verts/ALE

2

Luxembourg Verts/ALE

For (1)

1
icon: The Left The Left
35

Portugal The Left

4

Netherlands The Left

For (1)

1

Belgium The Left

For (1)

1

Sweden The Left

For (1)

1

Denmark The Left

1

Finland The Left

For (1)

1

Czechia The Left

Abstain (1)

1

Cyprus The Left

2
icon: NI NI
36

Germany NI

Abstain (1)

3

France NI

Abstain (1)

3

Netherlands NI

For (1)

Against (1)

2

Belgium NI

For (1)

1

Lithuania NI

1

Croatia NI

Against (1)

Abstain (1)

2

Latvia NI

1
icon: ECR ECR
57

Romania ECR

Abstain (1)

1

Netherlands ECR

5

Greece ECR

1

Sweden ECR

Abstain (1)

3

Bulgaria ECR

Abstain (1)

1

Finland ECR

Abstain (1)

2

Lithuania ECR

Abstain (1)

1

Croatia ECR

1

Slovakia ECR

Abstain (1)

1

Latvia ECR

Abstain (1)

1
icon: ID ID
57

Austria ID

3

Denmark ID

Abstain (1)

1

Czechia ID

Against (1)

1

Estonia ID

Abstain (1)

1

A9-0238/2023 – Milan Brglez – Commission proposal (amended on 12 September 2023) #

2024/04/24 Outcome: +: 452, 0: 83, -: 43
DE ES FR IT BE RO AT PT SE CZ IE FI BG DK HU SK NL EL HR EE SI LT LV LU MT PL
Total
81
54
71
45
21
21
17
16
20
21
12
13
13
11
15
12
27
12
11
7
7
9
8
6
4
44
icon: PPE PPE
144

Denmark PPE

For (1)

1

Hungary PPE

1

Estonia PPE

For (1)

1

Slovenia PPE

3

Luxembourg PPE

2

Malta PPE

For (1)

1
icon: S&D S&D
112

Belgium S&D

2

Romania S&D

2

Czechia S&D

For (1)

1

Bulgaria S&D

2

Denmark S&D

2

Slovakia S&D

For (1)

1

Greece S&D

1

Estonia S&D

2

Slovenia S&D

2

Lithuania S&D

2

Latvia S&D

2

Luxembourg S&D

For (1)

1

Malta S&D

Abstain (1)

3
icon: Renew Renew
92

Austria Renew

For (1)

1
3

Ireland Renew

2

Finland Renew

3

Bulgaria Renew

2

Hungary Renew

For (1)

1

Greece Renew

1

Croatia Renew

For (1)

1

Estonia Renew

3

Slovenia Renew

2

Latvia Renew

For (1)

1

Luxembourg Renew

2

Poland Renew

1
icon: Verts/ALE Verts/ALE
65

Spain Verts/ALE

3

Italy Verts/ALE

2

Belgium Verts/ALE

3

Austria Verts/ALE

3

Portugal Verts/ALE

1

Sweden Verts/ALE

3

Czechia Verts/ALE

3

Ireland Verts/ALE

2

Finland Verts/ALE

3

Denmark Verts/ALE

For (1)

1

Netherlands Verts/ALE

3

Lithuania Verts/ALE

2

Luxembourg Verts/ALE

For (1)

1

Poland Verts/ALE

For (1)

1
icon: The Left The Left
31

Belgium The Left

For (1)

1

Portugal The Left

4

Czechia The Left

Abstain (1)

1

Finland The Left

For (1)

1

Denmark The Left

1

Greece The Left

2
icon: NI NI
33

Germany NI

Abstain (1)

2

Spain NI

1

France NI

Abstain (1)

3

Belgium NI

For (1)

1

Romania NI

Abstain (1)

1

Czechia NI

For (1)

1

Netherlands NI

Against (1)

1

Greece NI

Against (1)

2

Croatia NI

2

Latvia NI

1
icon: ID ID
45

Austria ID

Abstain (2)

2

Czechia ID

Abstain (1)

1

Denmark ID

Abstain (1)

1

Estonia ID

For (1)

1
icon: ECR ECR
56

Germany ECR

Abstain (1)

1

France ECR

Against (1)

1

Romania ECR

Abstain (1)

1

Sweden ECR

3

Finland ECR

1

Bulgaria ECR

Against (1)

Abstain (1)

2

Slovakia ECR

Abstain (1)

1

Netherlands ECR

4

Greece ECR

Abstain (1)

1

Croatia ECR

Abstain (1)

1

Lithuania ECR

Against (1)

1

Latvia ECR

Against (1)

1
AmendmentsDossier
480 2022/0344(COD)
2023/04/04 ENVI 21 amendments...
source: 745.503
2023/04/05 ENVI 286 amendments...
source: 745.501
2023/04/25 AGRI 120 amendments...
source: 746.760
2023/05/05 ITRE 53 amendments...
source: 746.987

History

(these mark the time of scraping, not the official date of the change)

docs/9
date
2024-04-24T00:00:00
docs
url: https://www.europarl.europa.eu/doceo/document/TA-9-2024-0358_EN.html title: T9-0358/2024
type
Text adopted by Parliament, 1st reading/single reading
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EP
events/8
date
2024-04-24T00:00:00
type
Decision by Parliament, 1st reading
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url: https://www.europarl.europa.eu/doceo/document/TA-9-2024-0358_EN.html title: T9-0358/2024
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Awaiting Parliament's position in 1st reading
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Awaiting Council's 1st reading position
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url: https://www.europarl.europa.eu/doceo/document/TA-9-2024-0358_EN.html title: T9-0358/2024
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Text adopted by Parliament, 1st reading/single reading
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events/8
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2024-04-24T00:00:00
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Decision by Parliament, 1st reading
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url: https://www.europarl.europa.eu/doceo/document/TA-9-2024-0358_EN.html title: T9-0358/2024
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Awaiting Parliament's position in 1st reading
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Awaiting Council's 1st reading position
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docs
url: https://www.europarl.europa.eu/doceo/document/TA-9-2024-0358_EN.html title: T9-0358/2024
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Text adopted by Parliament, 1st reading/single reading
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events/8
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2024-04-24T00:00:00
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Decision by Parliament, 1st reading
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url: https://www.europarl.europa.eu/doceo/document/TA-9-2024-0358_EN.html title: T9-0358/2024
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Awaiting Parliament's position in 1st reading
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Awaiting Council's 1st reading position
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url: https://www.europarl.europa.eu/doceo/document/TA-9-2024-0358_EN.html title: T9-0358/2024
type
Text adopted by Parliament, 1st reading/single reading
body
EP
events/8
date
2024-04-24T00:00:00
type
Decision by Parliament, 1st reading
body
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url: https://www.europarl.europa.eu/doceo/document/TA-9-2024-0358_EN.html title: T9-0358/2024
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