A "European regulatory pause" on environmental standards... The call of Emmanuel Macron, slipped this Thursday in his speech presenting his strategy to accelerate the reindustrialization of the France, has jumped the ecologists. Like MEP David Cormand. "The champion of the Earth is back," he joked on Twitter, referring to this honorary title awarded by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) to Emmanuel Macron in September 2018.

"A historical misinterpretation"?

"The French are asking for a pause on the implementation of the pension reform... Macron offers them a break on ecology, "protests for his part the head of EELV Marine Tondelier. For her part, Marie Toussaint, an ecologist MEP like David Cormand, denounces "a historical misinterpretation, an ecological betrayal". "When the water we drink, the food we eat, or the soil we tread have become toxic; that the climate is warming, that biodiversity is dying, and that water is running out because of the race for growth that Emmanuel Macron is pursuing, this is absolutely not the time to pause, "she told 20 Minutes.

The champion of the Earth is back... https://t.co/mrIRHDpnFw

— David Cormand🌻🇪🇺 (@DavidCormand) May 11, 2023

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The Elysée invites to recontextualize

For its part, the Elysée invites to recontextualize the words of the President of the Republic, insisting on the fact that he has asked neither a suspension nor a moratorium and even less a repeal "of the current standards under discussion". Clearly, Emmanuel Macron believes that the European Union has, to date, done "more than all the neighbors" and that it now "needs stability". "We are ahead, in regulatory terms, of the Americans, the Chinese or any other power in the world," said the head of state.

"Now we have to execute. We must not make new changes to the rules, because we will lose all the actors, "he pleaded again. Otherwise the "risk" is "to be the best bidder in terms of regulation and the lowest bidder in terms of funding".

'The EU not at the forefront of everything'

Even once argued, Emmanuel Macron's proposal is no more admissible for Marie Toussaint. "It is not true that the EU is at the forefront of all environmental issues," she said. The MEP takes the example of PFAS (per- and polyfluoroalkyls), these very resistant pollutants [to the point of being described as eternal]. The United States has made good progress on banning a number of these toxic substances emitted by industries, she said. Probably not enough. But we are behind in Europe on this subject. »

Above all, "even in areas where we are ahead, it is illusory to believe that we are for a long time," adds Marie Toussaint, referring this time to Roland Lescure's proposal on franceinfo Thursday evening. Bouncing back from Emmanuel Macron's proposal, the Minister Delegate for Industry wanted this environmental pause to last five years. "Certainly, we would then find ourselves lagging behind all the major economic powers of the world and with an industry then much less prepared to respond to a world that must comply with the imperatives posed by climate change and exceeding planetary limits. Turning your back on ecology today means ensuring that you lose competitiveness tomorrow. »

Worrying in the run-up to the Green Deal?

Marie Toussaint then struggles to understand the timing of Emmanuel Macron's proposal. "Is this a way to test opinion on the issue?" she asks. "The strangest thing is that the Green Deal, a revision of 50 European directives and which must generate Europe's new green standards in order to aim for carbon neutrality by 2050, is being played out in parallel," she continues. A number of these texts have not yet been adopted. »

This is the case, for example, of the REACH dossier, a European regulation that regulates the manufacture and use of chemical substances within the EU and that several NGOs invite to be revised urgently to eliminate the current loopholes. "But Thierry Breton [European Commissioner for Industrial Policy] is fighting against it," laments Marie Toussaint. This pause desired by the Head of State is yet another signal of the unwillingness, in the highest political spheres, to reform the industry on all these toxic and chemical products that pollute our environments. »

  • Planet
  • Emmanuel Macron
  • Environment
  • Industry
  • European Union (EU)
  • Controversy