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French MEPs help the box of Camembert

During the Brexit campaign in 2016, British conservative Boris Johnson loved to mock European legislation which, he claimed, very wrongly, would ban bananas. “curves” and bunches of more than three bananas. In France, at the same time, the former President of the Republic, Nicolas Sarkozy, also denounced this technocratic Europe which strives to regulate “curve” cucumber, in reference to a regulation which had nevertheless been abandoned in July 2009.

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A few months before the European elections, scheduled for June 9, 2024 in France, the European Union (EU) came close to giving fodder to those who vilify the excesses of standards produced in Brussels. The proposal for a regulation on packaging, which the Commission presented in November 2022 and which notably imposes recycling targets, had the direct consequence of threatening wooden Camembert boxes. “If we want to caricature Europe before the elections, we start bothering Camembert producers and their wooden packaging… That makes everyone jump! »commented the Secretary of State for Europe, Laurence Boone, the week of November 13.

“This is an oversight on the part of the Commission, a hole in the racket of this text”, and in no case a desire to attack boxes of Camembert, Gorgonzola, Mont d’Or or even oyster baskets and other trays of strawberries, insisted in recent days the Macronist Pascal Canfin, president of the Environment Committee of the European Parliament. What the community executive confirms: “There are ongoing discussions to accommodate the particular issue of Camembert”says one of its spokespersons.

” Pandora’s box “

While MEPs must debate the incriminated text in Strasbourg on Tuesday, November 21, before voting on its content the next day, French elected officials have mobilized widely to correct the situation. Among the liberals of Renew, they inspired an amendment which asks the Commission to make a proposal, by 2028, for wood and wax packaging (like Babybel), which, given the low volumes involved , do not currently have a specific recycling channel.

This amendment “should receive a large majority”judge Mr. Canfin, who did not want to request an exemption from the future European regulation, so as not to weaken its scope and “open Pandora’s box” to all sectors that might want to escape the new rules.

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Gn Fr France

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