Greens welcome new Watchdog to help safeguard EU social and environmental legislation

Molly Scott Cato, Green MEP for the South West, has welcomed the launch in Brussels today of a new network to protect citizens’, workers’ and consumers’ rights. More than 50 civil society organisations have joined forces to create the ‘Better Regulation Watchdog’ ahead of the expected announcement of the European Commission’s ‘Better Regulation’ reforms. Greens share concerns expressed by civil society groups that the new package of measures, with a goal of cutting regulatory burdens, will become a crusade against any EU legislation that is seen to raise costs for business. Molly said:

“The Commission appears to be taking the side of big business, who are always keen to dismiss regulation as expensive red tape, rather than the side of citizens, for whom regulation means protection against pollution and lowering employment conditions and protection of public health. The horsemeat fiasco and the scandal of air pollution in the UK show what can happen when regulation is inadequate or weakly enforced. Greens are determined to protect important legislation on health, the environment and well-being against the lobbying of big business.”

The network forming the new Watchdog is made up of consumer, environmental, development, financial, social, and public health organisations and trade unions. It will seek to examine actions taken under the Better Regulation initiative and identify threats to existing and future social, labour, environmental, consumer, and financial regulation and public health standards.