Recently, Maroš Šefčovič, Vice President of the European Commission, responded to inquiries, including those related to REACH during his address at the European Parliament’s plenary session. REACH is said to be a piece of regulatory legislation that could affect the beauty industry.
Šefčovič clarified that if a proposal had already been announced in a previous Commission’s work program, it would not be reannounced in the current one. He assured that the anticipated REACH amendments were indeed planned and in progress.
Šefčovič emphasized the Commission’s commitment to the Green Deal, an all-encompassing initiative aimed at making Europe the world’s first climate-neutral continent. He described REACH as the most comprehensive legislation governing chemicals globally, which aligns with the goals of the Green Deal.
However, Šefčovič acknowledged that amending REACH is a complex endeavor, requiring a delicate balance to significantly reduce health and environmental hazards from chemical pollution, address chemicals of high concern, and ensure the availability of chemicals essential for key green transition technologies.
Given the intricacies involved, Šefčovič admitted that it is possible the REACH amendment may need to be carried forward into the next mandate. The aim is to meticulously prepare the proposal, completing all necessary groundwork, and identify the most opportune timing for its introduction, considering that the approval process is expected to span several years. The Commission seeks to ensure the proposal gains the necessary support and momentum.
Šefčovič also highlighted the Commission’s ongoing commitment to animal welfare, asserting that it has been actively working to improve it for over four decades. The fight against animal testing in Europe has gained momentum, with the Commission accelerating the phase-out of this practice in response to the “Save Cruelty-Free Cosmetics — Commit to a Europe Without Animal Testing” European Citizens’ Initiative. A new roadmap, comprising legislative and non-legislative actions, will be introduced to further reduce animal testing, aiming to transition to an animal-free regulatory system under chemicals legislation like REACH and the Plant Protection Products Regulation, while continuing to support alternatives to animal testing.