Labour MEPs today attacked Jean-Claude Juncker for withdrawing two key environment and health packages from the European Commission's Work Programme, which will be presented to MEPs next week.
Glenis Willmott MEP, Leader of the European Parliamentary Labour Party and Labour's health spokesperson in the European Parliament, said:
"The Air Pollution and the Circular Economy packages are essential pieces of legislation for the UK. From a health perspective, renewed air quality targets could save thousands of lives every year and reduce the huge burden respiratory diseases such as asthma, COPD and lung cancer place on the NHS. Kicking this legislation into the long grass will have serious implications for public health across the EU.
"This is why Labour MEPs are saying firmly to President Juncker the proposals are not good enough - the Commission must stand by their promise to keep environmental and health concerns at the heart of the EU's agenda."
Seb Dance MEP, Labour's environment spokesperson in the European Parliament, added:
"I am outraged that after all the reassurances from Juncker and members of his Commission, that the environment would be at the core of the Work Programme, we find two essential packages are to be withdrawn.
"The Air Quality package and the Circular Economy package have the potential to create hundreds of thousands of jobs and save billions of euros, not to mention save countless lives - isn't this exactly what the Commission should be aiming to create?"