Legislative discussions are underway on the EU’s proposal for green claims, a directive that would set new verification and communication rules for environmental claims and labels. Discussions between member states have only just begun, but some have already expressed concerns about the proposed excessive sanctions. It is a reminder that the proposal would ban people from tendering for public contracts for 12 months if they infringe the rules. Some members of parliament in the European Parliament have also expressed concerns that this sanction is not proportionate.

The most controversial issue in the European Parliament at the moment is how to create a workable prior approval procedure. The proposal would require all claims and labels to be pre-approved by inspectors (private organisations) at national level before they can be communicated to consumers, which could cause significant difficulties for companies making claims.

The Parliament has until the end of March to take a position, while the Council aims to reach an agreement in June. Once both institutions have established their positions, negotiations will start, meaning that a final agreement could be reached by the end of the year.