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Safe drinking water

MEPs insist on say over EU rules on radioactive contamination

The European Parliament today adopted a report on radioactive contamination in drinking water, setting out its opinion on draft EU rules as part of a consultation process. The report, by Green draftsperson/rapporteur Michèle Rivasi calls for the legal base for the draft legislation to be changed to give the European Parliament co-decision powers over these crucial rules for public health (1). Commenting after the vote, Michèle Rivasi said:

"Today's report sends a clear signal to EU governments not to exclude the European Parliament from the decision-making on these crucial rules for public health. The EP is a co-legislator on EU legislation on drinking water and it makes no sense to deny it a say on one specific aspect of drinking water. The legal base should be changed and parliament given a say.

"MEPs have also highlighted flaws with the proposed legislation. The report calls for the removal of loopholes in the draft legislation, including weak monitoring of radioactive contamination and the failure to distinguish between natural and manmade sources of radioactivity. It also calls for stricter values on contamination levels. EU governments should not take risks with such a vital substance as drinking water."

(1) The legislation, setting out rules on radioactive contamination of drinking water, has been proposed under the Euratom Treaty, leaving the European Parliament with solely consultation powers. The report argues that the legal base should be changed to Article 191(2) of the EU Treaty, as it concerns important rules for public health, an EU competence. This is the legal base used for EU legislation on drinking water.