Many StEP members have good first-hand experience with the practical application of the current European Union Directive on Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) 2002/96/EC. During the process of scrutiny of the Directive, StEP and its members have been closely involved. As an example, the United Nations University (UNU), one of the initiators of StEP, together with the StEP members Regional Environmental Center for Central and Eastern Europe (REC), Gaiker and Delft University of Technology produced a re-port to the European Commission on the total environmental, economic and social impact of the WEEE Directive, and subsequently made proposals for specific improvements on the collection plus recycling, recovery and re-use targets, the scope and treatment requirements and general improvements on the essential items.
The review process of the WEEE Directive has led to a formal proposal for a revision in the form of a “recast”, as a consequence of both
• A scheduled review as indicated in the Directive itself
• Being identified as a legislative measure meriting scrutiny in 2008 under the European Commission “simplification of the regulatory environment” programme.
The Commission also notes that the experience with the existing Directive has revealed technical, legal and administrative problems.
This White Paper examines the Commission proposal for a recast of the WEEE Directive, as given in COM(2008)810 final, with reference to among others the findings in the UNU report and experience with the current WEEE Directive from the StEP members coming from all over the world and representing all key-stakeholder groups. This StEP White Paper is intended to take a holistic view on the proposals made from a science-based, but nevertheless applied perspective. It contains further suggestions to enhance the environmental effectiveness, social implication and economic efficiency and illustrates problems of policy coherence that may arise out of the implementation of proposals made and first recommendations to overcome such.