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Lords EU Committee leads bid for EU action to tackle food waste

A proposal to crack down on food waste across Europe is formally launched by a group of EU national parliaments today, led by the House of Lords.

The Lords EU Committee has joined forces with 16 other European national parliaments to propose a "Green Card" on the issue, demanding stronger action.

An estimated 89 million tonnes of food are wasted across Europe every year.

Led by the House of Lords, the group of national parliaments is today writing to Jean-Claude Juncker, President of the European Commission, asking for a range of actions to bear down on waste, including better EU-wide guidelines on food donation and stronger monitoring of cross-border supply chains.

Until now national parliaments have been able to register objections to certain EU laws on the grounds of ‘subsidiarity', but have had no means by which to combine to propose new initiatives. Hence the ‘Green Card', an idea set out in the EU Committee's 2014 report on The Role of National Parliaments in the EU which allows national parliaments to join forces to make proposals to the European Commission. This, the first ever Green Card, is supported by 16 out of 41 chambers of national parliaments across the EU.

Chair of the EU Select Committee Lord Boswell, said:

“Mr Juncker and his colleagues have made it clear that they want to engage better with national parliaments, so I sincerely hope that the Commission sits up and takes notice of our proposal. We've shown we can work together, across national boundaries, in order to give national parliaments, and the citizens they represent, a greater say in shaping the EU.”

Baroness Scott, Chair of EU Energy and Environment Sub-Committee added:

“Food waste is a huge issue, not just for us in the UK, but across Europe. With these 16 national parliaments signed up, we have shown the European Commission that there is a real collective desire to work together to tackle this problem. We look forward to seeing what proposals the Commission comes up with.”

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