Why Principles & Data can help you predict who will win the vote

Use Data and not hunches

In  Ray Dallio’s “Principles” he talks about the use of data and computers to enhance good decisions. It is something that I think political campaigners and lobbyists should try.

Today, it is not used much in lobbying and political campaigning.  People prefer hunches, intuition or what I suspect, too often, making it up on the fly.
The tools exist. For a long while I have used the data flow from EUVotewatch.  On one of most successful political campaigns the data gleamed from previous similar votes was a vital tool in designing a winning campaign.
Look at the trends
A word of warning.  Historical data does not predict future votes of politicians. It is a useful indicator, but politicians are not robots. Events shape their decisions, and they change their minds.
It helps to understand the context of the vote and the events surrounding a vote. They are vital indicators. Shaping the events and the thinking on the vote is vital.
We are not in a realm of plug in the data and predict the result. There are though vital trends that can be learned.
97% of laws made this way and most people ignore it
The area I have most used EU Vote Watch is for comitology.
I have, what my friends tell me,  is an unhealthy interest in comitology/ delegated legislation. I have had the interest for more than 20 years. I enjoy it because it accounts for about 97% or more EU legislation and very few people in Brussels  are interested in it.
I looked at last week’s vote in the European Parliament against proposed scientific criteria put forward for the determination of endocrine disrupting properties in pesticides. It is a file I have worked on for a long time and work on today.
Getting a challenge through the EP is always tough. Securing 376 votes is a deliberately high hurdle.
The Green/Social Democrat motion passed. It got through with 389 for, 235 against, and 70 abstained.
Why did they succeed?
But, the real question is why get this many votes.
What was very smart about this challenge is how the proposers  played it. There was little discussion about the about endocrine disruptors. Instead, the objection was framed to what really concerns MEPs, namely “Parliamentary privilege the rule of law and the Commission exceeding the law”.
Listening to Bas Eeckhout MEP (Greens/Netherlands) explain his case was tantamount to getting a condensed lecture from the late Tom Bighmam on the Rule of Law.
This must have head the NGOs, who had crusaded on the public health issue, gnashing at the teeth.
But, it was the right call, and the figures prove it.
A roll call vote on Recital P “P.  whereas, in accordance with long-standing case law, the adoption of regulatory elements that are essential to a given matter is reserved to the EU legislature and may not be delegated to the Commission” went through.
This went through with overwhelming support.
It went through with support from most of the groups, except the ECR, who were split.
Parliaments throughout Europe have been in struggle against the Executive for centuries. They guard their hard won privileges. They have been battling against the Council and Commission on delegated legislation since 1979.
The data show most politicians have this DNA built into them. The substantive issues of the rule of law and protection of Parliament’s privileges are more important than the technical issue at hand.
This is the vital lesson on what really counts.

What can a self made multi-billionaire teach you about lobbying

I have just listened to Ray Dallio‘s book “Principles”.

He  is the founder of the investment management firm Bridgewater.

His investment funds has done well. It has made him, his employees and clients wealthy, very wealthy.

He is in the process of writing down his principles.  He has kindly written out his “model” for making decisions.

Dallio is direct. Some people think he is too direct. He embraces an ideal of radical honesty and transparency. I can see how some people find these principles tough. I am fortunate. I like it. I had a Danish boss when I was young. You like it or leave.

 

Can you use a billionaire’s principles for  lobbying and political campaigning?

I have listed some of the ideas that I find directly relevant for political campaigning and lobbying.

The whole basic of hyperrealism seems core but is too often absent in political campaigning and lobbying. Hope is a great slogan, but it is not a political strategy.

Looking beyond the first order consequences and considering the second and third order impacts needs to be sidelined. All too often, I have learned in more than 25 years of political campaigning  and lobbying, if you ask for everything, you lose everything. Politics is the art of the compromise and if you don’t, you risk loosing everything.

The whole use of AI, computers and data, is perhaps the most undeveloped area in lobbying. In political campaigning, it is more evolved, had a huge impact in the UK’s Brexit campaign. “The Victory Lab” explores this.

Over time, I’ll look at his principles in terms of political campaigning and lobbying, and write up.

 

1. Embrace Reality and Deal with It
1.1 Be a hyperrealist.
a. Dreams + Reality + Determination = A Successful Life.
1.2 Truth—or, more precisely, an accurate understanding of reality
—is the essential foundation for any good outcome.
1.3 Be radically open-minded and radically transparent.
a. Radical open-mindedness and radical transparency are
invaluable for rapid learning and effective change.
b. Don’t let fears of what others think of you stand in your way.
c. Embracing radical truth and radical transparency will bring
more meaningful work and more meaningful relationships.
1.4 Look to nature to learn how reality works.
a. Don’t get hung up on your views of how things “should” be
because you will miss out on learning how they really are.
b. To be “good” something must operate consistently with the
laws of reality and contribute to evolution of the whole; that
is what is most rewarded.
c. Evolution is the single greatest force in the universe; it is the
only thing that is permanent and it drives everything.
d. Evolve or die.
1.5 Evolving is life’s greatest accomplishment and its greatest
reward.
a. The individual’s incentives must be aligned with the group’s
goals.
b. Reality is optimizing for the whole—not for you.
c. Adaptation through rapid trial and error is invaluable.
d. Realize that you are simultaneously everything and nothing
—and decide what you want to be.
e. What you will be will depend on the perspective you have.
1.6 Understand nature’s practical lessons.
a. Maximize your evolution.
b. Remember “no pain, no gain.”
c. It is a fundamental law of nature that in order to gain
strength one has to push one’s limits, which is painful.
1.7 Pain + Reflection = Progress.
a. Go to the pain rather than avoid it.
b. Embrace tough love.
1.8 Weigh second- and third-order consequences.
1.9 Own your outcomes.
1.10 Look at the machine from the higher level.
a. Think of yourself as a machine operating within a machine
and know that you have the ability to alter your machines to
produce better outcomes.
b. By comparing your outcomes with your goals, you can
determine how to modify your machine.
c. Distinguish between you as the designer of your machine
and you as a worker with your machine.
d. The biggest mistake most people make is to not see
themselves and others objectively, which leads them to
bump into their own and others’ weaknesses again and again.
e. Successful people are those who can go above themselves to see
things objectively and manage those things to shape change.
f. Asking others who are strong in areas where you are weak to help
you is a great skill that you should develop no matter what, as it will
help you develop guardrails that will prevent you from doing what
you shouldn’t be doing.
g. Because it is difficult to see oneself objectively, you need to
rely on the input of others and the whole body of evidence.
h. If you are open-minded enough and determined, you can
get virtually anything you want.
2 Use the 5-Step Process to Get What You Want Out of Life
2.1 Have clear goals.
a. Prioritize: While you can have virtually anything you want,
you can’t have everything you want.
b. Don’t confuse goals with desires.
c. Decide what you really want in life by reconciling your
goals and your desires.
d. Don’t mistake the trappings of success for success itself.
e. Never rule out a goal because you think it’s unattainable.
f. Remember that great expectations create great capabilities.
g. Almost nothing can stop you from succeeding if you have
a) flexibility and b) self-accountability.
h. Knowing how to deal well with your setbacks is as important
as knowing how to move forward.
2.2 Identify and don’t tolerate problems.
a. View painful problems as potential improvements that are
screaming at you.
b. Don’t avoid confronting problems because they are rooted in
harsh realities that are unpleasant to look at.
c. Be specific in identifying your problems.
d. Don’t mistake a cause of a problem with the real problem.
e. Distinguish big problems from small ones.
f. Once you identify a problem, don’t tolerate it.
2.3 Diagnose problems to get at their root causes.
a. Focus on the “what is” before deciding “what to do about it.”
b. Distinguish proximate causes from root causes.
c. Recognize that knowing what someone (including you) is
like will tell you what you can expect from them.
2.4 Design a plan.
a. Go back before you go forward.
b. Think about your problem as a set of outcomes produced
by a machine.
c. Remember that there are typically many paths to achieving
your goals.
d. Think of your plan as being like a movie script in that you
visualize who will do what through time.
e. Write down your plan for everyone to see and to measure
your progress against.
f. Recognize that it doesn’t take a lot of time to design a
good plan.
2.5 Push through to completion.
a. Great planners who don’t execute their plans go nowhere.
b. Good work habits are vastly underrated.
c. Establish clear metrics to make certain that you are
following your plan.

2.6 Remember that weaknesses don’t matter if you find solutions.
a. Look at the patterns of your mistakes and identify at which
step in the 5-Step Process you typically fail.
b. Everyone has at least one big thing that stands in the way
of their success; find yours and deal with it.

2.7 Understand your own and others’ mental maps and humility.

3 Be Radically Open-Minded

3.1 Recognize your two barriers.
a. Understand your ego barrier.
b. Your two “yous” fight to control you.
c. Understand your blind spot barrier.

3.2 Practice radical open-mindedness.
a. Sincerely believe that you might not know the best possible
path and recognize that your ability to deal well with “not
knowing” is more important than whatever it is you do know.
b. Recognize that decision making is a two-step process:
First take in all the relevant information, then decide.
c. Don’t worry about looking good; worry about achieving
your goal.
d. Realize that you can’t put out without taking in.
e. Recognize that to gain the perspective that comes from
seeing things through another’s eyes, you must suspend
judgment for a time—only by empathizing can you properly
evaluate another point of view.
f. Remember that you’re looking for the best answer, not
simply the best answer that you can come up with yourself.
g. Be clear on whether you are arguing or seeking to understand,
and think about which is most appropriate based on your and
others’ believability.

3.3 Appreciate the art of thoughtful disagreement.

3.4 Triangulate your view with believable people who are willing
to disagree.
a. Plan for the worst-case scenario to make it as good as
possible.

3.5 Recognize the signs of closed-mindedness and open-mindedness that you should watch out for.

3.6 Understand how you can become radically open-minded.
a. Regularly use pain as your guide toward quality reflection.
b. Make being open-minded a habit.
c. Get to know your blind spots.
d. If a number of different believable people say you are doing
something wrong and you are the only one who doesn’t see
it that way, assume that you are probably biased.
e. Meditate.
f. Be evidence-based and encourage others to be the same.
g. Do everything in your power to help others also be open-minded.
h. Use evidence-based decision-making tools.
i. Know when it’s best to stop fighting and have faith in your decision-making process.

 

4 Understand That People Are Wired Very Differently
4.1 Understand the power that comes from knowing how you and others are wired.
a. We are born with attributes that can both help us and hurt
us, depending on their application.

4.2 Meaningful work and meaningful relationships aren’t just nice things we chose for ourselves—they are genetically programmed into us.
4.3 Understand the great brain battles and how to control them to get what “you” want.
a. Realize that the conscious mind is in a battle with the subconscious mind.
b. Know that the most constant struggle is between feeling and thinking.
c. Reconcile your feelings and your thinking.
d. Choose your habits well.
e. Train your “lower-level you” with kindness and persistence to build the right habits.
f. Understand the differences between right-brained and left-brained thinking.
g. Understand how much the brain can and cannot change.

4.4 Find out what you and others are like.
a. Introversion vs. extroversion.
b. Intuiting vs. sensing.
c. Thinking vs. feeling.
d. Planning vs. perceiving.
e. Creators vs. refiners vs. advancers vs. executors vs. flexors.
f. Focusing on tasks vs. focusing on goals.
g. WPI characteristics.
h. Shapers are people who can go from visualization to actualization.

4.5 Getting the right people in the right roles in support of your goal is the key to succeeding at whatever you choose to accomplish.
a. Manage yourself and orchestrate others to get what you want.
5 Learn How to Make Decisions Effectively

5.1 Recognize that 1) the biggest threat to good decision making is harmful emotions, and 2) decision making is a two-step process (first learning and then deciding).

 

5.2 Synthesize the situation at hand.
a. One of the most important decisions you can make is who you ask questions of.
b. Don’t believe everything you hear.
c. Everything looks bigger up close.
d. New is overvalued relative to great.
e. Don’t oversqueeze dots.
5.3 Synthesize the situation through time.
a. Keep in mind both the rates of change and the levels of
things, and the relationships between them.
b. Be imprecise.
c. Remember the 80/20 Rule and know what the key 20 percent is.
d. Be an imperfectionist.

5.4 Navigate levels effectively.
a. Use the terms “above the line” and “below the line” to establish which level a conversation is on.
b. Remember that decisions need to be made at the appropriate level, but they should also be consistent across levels.
5.5 Logic, reason, and common sense are your best tools for synthesizing reality and understanding what to do about it.

5.6 Make your decisions as expected value calculations.
a. Raising the probability of being right is valuable no matter what your probability of being right already is.
b. Knowing when not to bet is as important as knowing what bets are probably worth making.
c. The best choices are the ones that have more pros than cons, not those that don’t have any cons at all.

5.7 Prioritize by weighing the value of additional information against the cost of not deciding.
a. All of your “must-dos” must be above the bar before you do your “like-to-dos.”
b. Chances are you won’t have time to deal with the unimportant things, which is better than not having time to deal with the important things.
c. Don’t mistake possibilities for probabilities.

5.8 Simplify!

5.9 Use principles.

5.10 Believability weight your decision-making.

5.11 Convert your principles into algorithms and have the computer make decisions alongside you.

5.12 Be cautious about trusting AI without having deep understanding.

European Parliament Reject Commission’s Endocrine Proposal – how they voted

At around 12:30 this afternoon the European Parliament rejected the Commission’s proposal on Endocrine Criteria for Pesticides.

  • For: 389
  •  Against: 235
  • Abstain: 70

The final text adopted is here.

 

 

You can watch the final vote below.

 

 

How they Voted

Summary

 

By Political Group

By Member States

For 

389 +
ALDE: Arthuis, Auštrevičius, van Baalen, Bearder, Becerra Basterrechea, Bilbao Barandica, Calvet Chambon, Cavada, Cornillet, Deprez, Federley, Gerbrandy, Griesbeck, Harkin, Huitema, in ‘t Veld, Jäätteenmäki, Jakovčić, Ježek, Kallas, Løkkegaard, Marinho e Pinto, Michel, van Miltenburg, Mlinar, Nart, van Nieuwenhuizen, Paet, Pagazaurtundúa Ruiz, Petersen, Punset, Radoš, Ries, Riquet, Rochefort, Rohde, Schaake, Selimovic, Toom, Torvalds, Tremosa i Balcells, Vajgl, Vautmans, Verhofstadt, Weber Renate, Wierinck, Wikström
ECR: Belder, van Dalen, Demesmaeker, Dohrmann, Karlsson, Marias, Messerschmidt, Ruohonen-Lerner, Škripek, Stevens, Theocharous, Van Bossuyt, Vistisen, Zīle, Žitňanská
EFDD: Adinolfi, Agea, Aiuto, Beghin, Bergeron, Borrelli, Castaldo, Corrao, D’Amato, D’Ornano, Evi, Ferrara, Iwaszkiewicz, Moi, Montel, Paksas, Pedicini, Philippot, Tamburrano, Valli, Zullo
ENF: Annemans, Arnautu, Bay, Bilde, Boutonnet, Briois, Elissen, Ferrand, Goddyn, de Graaff, Jalkh, Jamet, Kappel, Lebreton, Lechevalier, Loiseau, Martin Dominique, Marusik, Mayer Georg, Mélin, Monot, Obermayr, Pretzell, Rebega, Schaffhauser, Stuger, Troszczynski, Vilimsky, Zijlstra
GUE/NGL: Albiol Guzmán, Anderson Martina, Benito Ziluaga, Björk, Carthy, Chountis, Couso Permuy, Eck, Ernst, Flanagan, Forenza, González Peñas, Hadjigeorgiou, Hazekamp, de Jong, Juaristi Abaunz, Kari, Kohlíček, Konečná, Kouloglou, Kuneva, Kyllönen, Le Hyaric, López Bermejo, Lösing, Maltese, Maštálka, Matias, Michels, Mineur, Ní Riada, Omarjee, Papadimoulis, Pimenta Lopes, Sakorafa, Sánchez Caldentey, Scholz, Senra Rodríguez, Spinelli, Sylikiotis, Torres Martínez, Urbán Crespo, Vallina, Vergiat, Viegas, Vieu
NI: Balczó, Chauprade, Epitideios, Fountoulis, Gollnisch, James, Korwin-Mikke, Morvai, Papadakis Konstantinos, Synadinos, Voigt, Zarianopoulos
PPE: Andrikienė, Arimont, Bach, Bendtsen, Casa, Faria, Metsola, Peterle, Pietikäinen, Reding, Rolin, Tolić, Zammit Dimech
S&D: Anderson Lucy, Andrieu, Androulakis, Arena, Assis, Balas, Bayet, Benifei, Beňová, Berès, Bettini, Blanco López, Bonafè, Borzan, Boştinaru, Brannen, Briano, Bullmann, Cabezón Ruiz, Caputo, Childers, Chinnici, Christensen, Cofferati, Corbett, Costa, Dalli, Dance, Danti, Delvaux, Denanot, Drăghici, Ertug, Fajon, Fernández, Fleckenstein, Freund, Gardiazabal Rubial, Gasbarra, Gebhardt, Geier, Geringer de Oedenberg, Gill Neena, Giuffrida, Gomes, Grammatikakis, Graswander-Hainz, Griffin, Gualtieri, Guerrero Salom, Guillaume, Guteland, Gutiérrez Prieto, Hedh, Hoffmann, Honeyball, Howarth, Ivan, Jaakonsaari, Jáuregui Atondo, Jongerius, Kadenbach, Kaili, Kammerevert, Kaufmann, Keller Jan, Khan, Kirton-Darling, Kofod, Kohn, Köster, Krehl, Kumpula-Natri, Kyenge, Kyrkos, Lange, Leinen, Lietz, López, López Aguilar, Ludvigsson, McAvan, Mamikins, Maňka, Manscour, Martin David, Martin Edouard, Maurel, Mavrides, Mayer Alex, Melior, Mizzi, Moisă, Molnár, Moraes, Nekov, Neuser, Niedermüller, Nilsson, Noichl, Panzeri, Paolucci, Papadakis Demetris, Pargneaux, Peillon, Picierno, Picula, Piri, Pirinski, Pittella, Poc, Poche, Post, Preuß, Regner, Revault d’Allonnes Bonnefoy, Rodrigues Liliana, Rodrigues Maria João, Rodríguez-Piñero Fernández, Rodust, Rozière, Sant, dos Santos, Sârbu, Sassoli, Schaldemose, Schlein, Schuster, Sehnalová, Serrão Santos, Silva Pereira, Simon Peter, Simon Siôn, Sippel, Smolková, Soru, Stihler, Tang, Țapardel, Tarabella, Thomas, Toia, Ujhelyi, Ulvskog, Valenciano, Van Brempt, Vaughan, Viotti, Ward, Weidenholzer, von Weizsäcker, Werner, Westphal, Wölken, Zala, Zanonato, Zoffoli, Zorrinho
Verts/ALE: Affronte, Albrecht, Andersson, Auken, Bové, Buchner, Bütikofer, Cramer, Dalunde, Delli, Durand, Eickhout, Engström, Evans, Giegold, Harms, Häusling, Hautala, Heubuch, Hudghton, Jadot, Joly, Keller Ska, Lambert, Lamberts, Lochbihler, Lunacek, Marcellesi, Meszerics, Reda, Reimon, Reintke, Rivasi, Sargentini, Scott Cato, Škrlec, Smith, Solé, Šoltes, Staes, Tarand, Taylor, Trüpel, Turmes, Urtasun, Valero, Vana, Ždanoka

Against
235 –
ALDE: Ali, Diaconu, Giménez Barbat, Grigule-Pēterse, Hyusmenova, Kyuchyuk, Lambsdorff, Mazuronis, Meissner, Mihaylova, Müller, Nicolai, Takkula, Väyrynen
ECR: Ashworth, Barekov, Dalton, Dzhambazki, Fitto, Flack, Fox, Gericke, Halla-aho, Hannan, Henkel, Kölmel, Lucke, McClarkin, Macovei, Matthews, Nicholson, Procter, Sernagiotto, Starbatty, Sulík, Swinburne, Tannock, Tošenovský, Trebesius, Ujazdowski, Zahradil
EFDD: Agnew
ENF: Bizzotto, Borghezio, Fontana, Salvini
NI: Dodds, Woolfe
PPE: Adaktusson, Ademov, Alliot-Marie, Ayuso, Balz, Belet, Bocskor, Böge, Bogovič, Boni, Brok, Buda, Buşoi, Buzek, van de Camp, Caspary, del Castillo Vera, Cesa, Cicu, Cirio, Clune, Collin-Langen, Corazza Bildt, Csáky, Danjean, Dantin, Dati, Delahaye, Deli, Deß, Deutsch, Díaz de Mera García Consuegra, Dorfmann, Ehler, Engel, Erdős, Estaràs Ferragut, Fisas Ayxelà, Fjellner, Florenz, Gahler, Gál, Gambús, Gardini, Gieseke, González Pons, de Grandes Pascual, Gräßle, Grossetête, Gyürk, Hayes, Herranz García, Hetman, Hökmark, Hölvényi, Hortefeux, Hübner, Iturgaiz, Jahr, Jazłowiecka, Jiménez-Becerril Barrio, Joulaud, Juvin, Kalinowski, Kalniete, Kariņš, Kelam, Kelly, Koch, Kósa, Kovatchev, Kozłowska-Rajewicz, Kudrycka, Kuhn, Kukan, Lamassoure, de Lange, Langen, Lavrilleux, Lenaers, Lewandowski, Liese, Lins, Lope Fontagné, López-Istúriz White, Łukacijewska, McAllister, McGuinness, Maletić, Malinov, Mann, Marinescu, Martusciello, Matera, Mato, Maullu, Mikolášik, Millán Mon, Morano, Morin-Chartier, Mureşan, Muselier, Mussolini, Nagy, Niebler, Niedermayer, Novakov, Olbrycht, Pabriks, Patriciello, Petir, Pieper, Pitera, Plura, Polčák, Ponga, Pospíšil, Preda, Proust, Quisthoudt-Rowohl, Radtke, Ribeiro, Rosati, Saïfi, Salafranca Sánchez-Neyra, Salini, Sander, Sarvamaa, Saudargas, Schöpflin, Schreijer-Pierik, Schulze, Schwab, Siekierski, Sógor, Šojdrová, Sommer, Štefanec, Štětina, Stolojan, Šuica, Šulin, Svoboda, Szájer, Szejnfeld, Thun und Hohenstein, Tőkés, Ţurcanu, Urutchev, Vaidere, Valcárcel Siso, Vălean, Vandenkendelaere, Verheyen, Virkkunen, Voss, Wałęsa, Weber Manfred, Wenta, Wieland, Winkler Hermann, Winkler Iuliu, Záborská, Zdechovský, Zdrojewski, Zeller, Zovko, Zver, Zwiefka
S&D: Balčytis, Blinkevičiūtė, Cristea, Dăncilă, Frunzulică, García Pérez, Gierek, Grapini, Kouroumbashev, Lauristin, Liberadzki, Łybacka, Nica, Paşcu, Pavel, Popa, Stanishev, Zemke

Abstained
70
ALDE: Charanzová, Dlabajová, Goerens, Telička, Uspaskich
ECR: Czarnecki, Czesak, Fotyga, Gosiewska, Hoc, Jurek, Karski, Kłosowski, Krasnodębski, Krupa, Kuźmiuk, Legutko, Ożóg, Piecha, Piotrowski, Tomaševski, Tomašić, Wiśniewska, Złotowski
EFDD: Aker, Arnott, Batten, Bullock, Carver, Coburn, (The Earl of) Dartmouth, Etheridge, Finch, Gill Nathan, Hookem, Lundgren, O’Flynn, Parker, Payne, Reid, Winberg
ENF: Atkinson, Zanni
NI: Saryusz-Wolski
PPE: Becker, Cadec, Christoforou, Fernandes, Karas, Kefalogiannis, Kyrtsos, Melo, Radev, Rübig, Schmidt, Spyraki, Ungureanu, Vozemberg-Vrionidi, Zagorakis
S&D: Aguilera García, Ayala Sender, Bresso, Cozzolino, De Castro, De Monte, Gentile, Morgano, Mosca, Szanyi
Verts/ALE: Ropė
Interestingly the percentage split for and against is similar to the same vote in Environment Committee on 28 September.

 

 

Endocrine Challenge Debate on 28 September

You can watch the debate and vote here.

 

 

The Environment Committee voted this morning:

  • 36 in favor
  • 26 against
  • 0 abstention
  • Total  voters 62 out of 69 members.

My hunch – but there is no automatic roll call vote – is this vote is split down Party lines.  S&D, Greens, GUE/ Nordic Left,  on one side, EPP and ECR on another.  The Liberals are split down the middle, with Red Liberals backing the S&D block, and Black Liberals backing the EPP.
The EFN would tend to vote for the motion and EFDD would vote against.

That is 52% of the members backing the vote. If translated to  the vote Wednesday in Strasbourg, it would just get over the 50.1% threshold, and 367 votes.

The full Parliament tends to take a more deferential line to the Commission than the Environment Committee so it is going to b a close thing.

Here is a copy of  the Endocrine PPP comitology challenge published today (Thursday 21 September).

Let’s see how the Environment Committee deal with it on 28 September at around 10:30 am.

It needs a simple majority to pass the Environment Committee, and if it does, it then goes to the full Parliament, where it will needs 367 votes or more to block the measure.

If it does, the Commission can withdraw and re-table a new proposal, or withdraw and submit a co-decision proposal.

European Parliament

2014-2019

 

{ENVI}Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety

 

<NoDocSe>2017/0000(RPS)</NoDocSe>

<Date>{21/09/2017}21.9.2017</Date>

<TitreType>DRAFT MOTION FOR A RESOLUTION</TitreType>

<TitreRecueil>pursuant to Rule 106(2), (3) and (4)(c) of the Rules of Procedure</TitreRecueil>

<Titre>on the draft Commission regulation amending Annex II to Regulation (EC) 1107/2009 by setting out scientific criteria for the determination of endocrine disrupting properties</Titre>

<DocRef>(D048947 – 2017/0000(RPS))</DocRef>

<Commission>{ENVI}Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety</Commission>

Members responsible: <Depute>Jytte Guteland, Bas Eickhout</Depute>

 

 

B8-0000/2017

 

European Parliament resolution on the draft Commission regulation amending Annex II to Regulation (EC) 1107/2009 by setting out scientific criteria for the determination of endocrine disrupting properties

 

(D048947/06 – 2017/0000 (RPS))

 

The European Parliament,

 

–    having regard to the draft Commission regulation amending Annex II to Regulation (EC) 1107/2009 by setting out scientific criteria for the determination of endocrine disrupting properties (D048947/06) (“draft regulation”),

–    having regard to Regulation (EC) No 1107/2009 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 21 October 2009 concerning the placing of plant protection products on the market and repealing Council Directives 79/117/EEC and 91/414/EEC[1], and in particular Article 4(1), Article 78(1)(a), the second paragraph of point 3.6.5. of Annex II and point 3.8.2 of Annex II thereof,

–    having regard to the judgment of the General Court of 16 December 2015[2], and in particular paragraphs 71 and 72 thereof,

–    having regard to the European Parliament resolution of 8 June 2016 on endocrine disruptors: state of play following the judgment of the General Court of the European Union of 16 December 2015[3],

–    having regard to the Communication by the Commission on endocrine disruptors and the draft Commission acts setting out scientific criteria for their determination in the context of the EU legislation on plant protection products and biocidal products of 15 June 2016[4],

–    having regard to the Summary Report of the Standing Committee on Plants, Animals, Food and Feed held in Brussels on 28 February 2017,

–    having regard to European Parliament resolution of 14 March 2013 on the protection of public health from endocrine disrupters[5],

–    having regard to the Commission roadmap of June 2014 entitled “Defining criteria for identifying Endocrine Disruptors in the context of the implementation of the Plant Protection Product Regulation and Biocidal Products Regulation”,

–    having regard to the General Union Environment Action Programme to 2020 ‘Living well, within the limits of our planet’ (“Seventh Environment Action Programme”), and in particular the third subparagraph of point 50 thereof[6],

–    having regard to Regulation (EC) No 1272/2008 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 16 December 2008 on classification, labelling and packaging of substances and mixtures, amending and repealing Directives 67/548/EEC and 1999/45/EC, and amending Regulation (EC) No 1907/2006[7],

–    having regard to Regulation (EC) No 1223/2009 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 30 November 2009 on cosmetic products[8], and in particular Article 15 thereof,

–    having regard to the Guidance by the European Food Safety Authority on the “Submission of scientific peer-reviewed open literature for the approval of pesticide active substances under Regulation (EC) No 1107/2009”[9],

–    having regard to President of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker’s State of the Union Address of 13 September 2017,

–    having regard to the  second draft Guidance document of 17 July 2012 for the implementation of the hazard-based criteria to identify endocrine disruptors (EDs) in the context of Regulations (EC) No 1107/2009 and (EU) No 528/2012, developed by the European Food Safety Authority, the European Chemicals Agency, and the Joint Research Centre (“draft guidance”);

–    having regard to Article 5a(3)(b) of Council Decision 1999/468/EC of 28 June 1999 laying down the procedures for the exercise of implementing powers conferred on the Commission[10],

–    having regard to the motion for a resolution of the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety,

–    having regard to Rule 106(2), (3) and (4)(c) of its Rules of Procedure,

  1. whereas in accordance with point 3.8.2. of Annex II of Regulation (EC) No 1107/2009, an active substance is only to be approved if it is not considered to have endocrine disrupting properties that may cause adverse effect in non-target organisms, unless the exposure of non-target organisms to that active substance under realistic proposed conditions of use is negligible (“cut-off criterion” for the environment);
  2. whereas in accordance with the second paragraph of point 3.6.5. of Annex II of Regulation (EC) No 1107/2009, the Commission is to present to the Standing Committee on the Food Chain and Animal Health a draft of the measures concerning specific scientific criteria for the determination of endocrine disrupting properties by 14 December 2013;
  3. whereas the Standing Committee delivered a positive opinion on the draft regulation on 4 July 2017, with three Member States voting against, and four Member States abstaining;
  4. whereas the last paragraph of the draft regulation stipulates that “if the intended plant protection mode of action of the active substance being assessed, consists of controlling target organisms other than vertebrates via their endocrine systems, the effects on organisms of the same taxonomic phylum as the targeted one, shall not be considered for the identification of the substance as having endocrine disrupting properties with respect to non-target organisms”;
  5. whereas the General Court in its judgment in case T-521/14 clearly stated that «la spécification des critères scientifiques pour la détermination des propriétés perturbant le système endocrinien ne peut se faire que de manière objective, au regard de données scientifiques relatives audit système, indépendamment de toute autre considération, en particulier économique»[11](paragraph 71);
  6. whereas it is not scientific to exclude a substance with an intended endocrine mode of action from the identification of being an endocrine disrupter for non-target organisms;
  7. whereas the draft regulation can therefore not be considered to be based on objective science linked to the endocrine system, as required by the Court; whereas the Commission hereby exceeds its implementing powers;
  8. whereas the actual intention of this last paragraph is clearly spelled out in the summary report of the Standing Committee on Plants, Animals, Food and Feed held in Brussels on 28 February 2017 which states that “furthermore, the rationale behind the provision on active substances with an intended endocrine mode of action (below called growth regulators (GR)) was explained. … The provision on GR allows that the cut-off criteria will not be applied to substances with an intended endocrine mode of action …”;
  9. whereas it is thus clear that the actual intention of this last paragraph is to effectively create a derogation from the cut-off criterion laid down point 3.8.2 of Annex II of Regulation (EC) No 1107/2009;
  10. whereas it is apparent from recitals 6 to 10 as well as from Article 1(3) of Regulation (EC) No 1107/2009 that the legislature, when addressing the complex issue of setting the rules on approving active substances, had to strike a delicate balance between the different and potentially conflicting objectives, i.e. agricultural production and the internal market, on the one hand, and the protection of health and the environment, on the other;
  11. whereas the General Court stated the following in the judgment referred to above: «Dans ce contexte, il importe de relever que, en adoptant le règlement n° 528/2012, le législateur a procédé à une mise en balance de l’objectif d’amélioration du marché intérieur et de celui de la préservation de la santé humaine, de la santé animale et de l’environnement, que la Commission se doit de respecter et ne saurait remettre en cause…. Or, dans le cadre de la mise en œuvre des pouvoirs qui lui sont délégués par le législateur, la Commission ne saurait remettre en cause cet équilibre, ce que cette institution a d’ailleurs en substance admis lors de l’audience.»[12] (paragraph 72);
  12. whereas this was echoed by the European Parliament in its resolution of 8 June 2016 which stresses that “the General Court ruled that the specification of scientific criteria can only be carried out in an objective manner on the basis of scientific data related to the endocrine system, independently of any other consideration, in particular economic ones, and that the Commission is not entitled to change the regulatory balance laid down in a basic act via the application of powers delegated to it pursuant to Article 290 [of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU)];
  13. whereas the same limitations of power apply for the Commission in the context of an implementing act under the regulatory procedure with scrutiny;
  14. whereas according to the Commission communication of 15 June 2016, “the issue faced by the Commission in this exercise is to establish criteria to determine what is or is not an endocrine disruptor for the purposes of plant protection products and biocidal products – not to decide how to regulate these substances. The regulatory consequences have already been set by the legislator in the legislation on plant protection products (2009) and biocidal products (2012).”;
  15. whereas the cut-off criterion laid down in point 3.8.2 of Annex II of Regulation (EC) No 1107/2009 constitutes an essential element of the Regulation;
  16. whereas according to long-standing case law, the adoption of regulatory elements that are essential to a given matter is reserved to the EU legislature and may not be delegated to the Commission;
  17. whereas according to Commission President Juncker in his State of the Union Address 2017, the rule of law is one of three principles that must always anchor our Union; whereas Commission President Juncker furthermore elaborated in this context that “Accepting and respecting a final judgement is what it means to be part of a Union based on the rule of law. Member States gave final jurisdiction to the European Court of Justice. The judgements of the Court have to be respected by all. To undermine them, or to undermine the independence of national courts, is to strip citizens of their fundamental rights. The rule of law is not optional in the European Union. It is a must.”;
  18. whereas the Commission has thus exceeded its implementing powers by modifying an essential regulatory element of Regulation (EC) No 1107/2009, contrary to the recognition of its limits of power in the court hearing in case T-521-14, contrary to its assertions in the Commission communication of 15 June 2016 and contrary to the fundamental Union principle of the rule of law evoked by Commission President Juncker;
  19. whereas the fact that the Commission exceeded its implementing powers is further corroborated by the statement in the summary report of the Standing Committee on Plants, Animals, Food and Feed held in Brussels on 28 February 2017 that the new clause would be added in a new paragraph, separate from “the commandments” and separate from the principles of assessment so that it is no longer part of the criteria;
  20. whereas even if the developments in scientific and technical knowledge were to provide valid grounds for introducing a derogation as regards the approval conditions of substances with an intended endocrine mode of action, such a derogation could only be created through a legislative procedure to amend Regulation (EC) No 1107/2009 in accordance with Article 294 TFEU;
  21. whereas according to the Seventh Environment Action Programme, “the Union will further develop and implement approaches to address … safety concerns related to endocrine disruptors in all relevant Union legislation. In particular, the Union will develop harmonised hazard-based criteria for the identification of endocrine disruptors”;
  22. whereas according to the Commission roadmap, based on calls by the European Parliament
  23. and the Council, and reconfirmed by both co-legislators in the Seventh Environment Action Programme, the Commission should establish horizontal hazard-based scientific criteria to identify endocrine disrupters so as to enable their application in the wider legislation covering the regulation of endocrine disrupters in different regulatory settings;
  24. whereas the criteria in the draft regulation are however not fit for horizontal application in all relevant Union legislation due to at least two failures:
  25. failure to include a category of suspected endocrine disrupters,
  26. failure to include read-across in the operative part of the data to be considered[13],
  27. and therefore not compatible with the aim and content of the Seventh Environment Action Programme;
  28. whereas the failure to include a category of suspected endocrine disrupters means that no action can be taken against such substances, unless a complementary proposal is made to lay down criteria for them,
  29. whereas it would have been very relevant to include a category of suspected endocrine disrupters so as to be able to achieve adequate protection against such substances in other sectors, e.g. for cosmetics, which include a ban on substances that are suspected of being carcinogenic, mutagenic or toxic to reproduction (“CMR substances”), particularly since the Regulation (EC) No 1223/2009 contains an obligation for the Commission to review that Regulation with regard to substances with endocrine-disrupting properties at the latest on 11 January 2015;
  30. whereas the failure to include a category of suspected endocrine disrupters furthermore means that the draft regulation is not consistent with the existing classification system for CMR substances as laid down in Regulation (EC) No 1272/2008, which includes a classification of suspected CMR substances;
  31. whereas the failure to include read-across in the operative part means that in case the criteria of the draft regulation were to be applied in other areas, each substance would need to be tested on its own and no test data from related chemicals could be used, so that in the absence of substance-specific test data on adverse effects, a substance could not be determined to be an endocrine disrupter, which would therefore  reward lack of testing with non-action, and would require unnecessary animal testing to be carried out;
  32. whereas the failure to explicitly include read-across as part of the consideration of all available data is not consistent with the existing classification system for CMR substances as laid down in Regulation (EC) No 1272/2008, which explicitly includes read-across;
  33. whereas one key element in the draft regulation in order to determine whether a substance is an endocrine disrupter is the endocrine mode of action (the second “commandment”); whereas the draft regulation equates “endocrine mode of action” with “alters the function (s) of the endocrine system” to align it with the definition by the World Health Organisation referred to in recital 2 of the draft regulation;
  34. whereas the draft guidance gives a different definition for mode of action: “A biologically plausible sequence of key events leading to an observed effect supported by robust  experimental observations and mechanistic data. A mode of action describes key cytological and biochemical events – that is, those that are both measurable and necessary to the observed effect – in a logical framework”.
  35. whereas the guidance thus provides a far more demanding definition for the key term “mode of action” compared to that which is set out in the second commandment of the criteria, and so unduly raises the bar for identifying endocrine disrupters;
  36. whereas the reference to existing guidance on literature data to be used in point (1)(1)(b) of the draft regulation establishes a hierarchy, which gives preference to data generated in accordance with internationally agreed study protocols over other scientific data, yet such study protocols are only available for certain endpoints to test endocrine disrupters, so that there is a serious risk that independent data alone are not considered enough for determining a substance as an endocrine disrupter;
  37. Opposes adoption of the draft Commission regulation;
  38. Considers that the draft Commission regulation exceeds the implementing powers provided for in Regulation (EC) No 1107/2009;

 

  1. Calls on the Commission to withdraw the draft regulation and submit a new one to the committee;
  2. Calls on the Commission to modify the draft regulation by deleting its last paragraph;
  3. Calls on the Commission to ensure that the guidance for the implementation of the hazard-based criteria to identify endocrine disruptors (EDs) in the context of Regulations (EC) No 1107/2009 and (EU) No 528/2012 is fully in line with the scientific criteria to determine endocrine-disrupting properties, including the weight of evidence approach of Regulation (EC) No 1272/2008;
  4. Calls on the Commission to ensure that the same guidance clarifies that there is no hierarchy between scientific data generated in accordance with internationally agreed study protocols and other scientific data;
  5. Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council and the Commission, and to the governments and parliaments of the Member States.

 

[1]      OJ L 309, 24.11.2009, p. 1.

[2]      Judgment of the Court of Justice of 16 December 2015, T-521/14, Sweden v. Commission, ECLI:EU:T:2015:976.

[3]      P8_TA(2016)0270.

[4]      COM(2016) 0350.

[5]      P7_TA(2013)0091.

[6]      OJ L 354, 28.12.2013, p. 171.

[7]      OJ L 353, 31.12.2008, p. 1.

[8]      OJ L 342, 22.12.2009, p. 59.

[9]      DOI: 10.2903/j.efsa.2011.2092, EFSA Journal 2011;9(2):2092.

[11]      Since the court case T-521/14 exists only in French and Swedish, the English version of the text is provided by the translation services of the European Parliament: ‘the specification of scientific criteria for the determination of endocrine-disrupting properties may only be performed objectively, in the light of scientific data relating to that system, independently of all other considerations, in particular economic ones’.

[12]    Since the court case T-521/14 exists only in French and Swedish, the English version of the text is provided by the translation services of the European Parliament: ‘In this context, it is important to note that, when adopting Regulation No 528/2012, the legislature weighed up the objective of improving the internal market and that of protecting human health, animal health and the environment, arriving at conclusions which the Commission must respect and cannot call into question…. In the context of the exercise of the powers delegated to it by the legislator, the Commission cannot call that balance into question, a fact which, moreover, that institution has in essence accepted during the hearing.’

[13]    Read-across involves the use of relevant information from analogous substance(s) to predict properties for the‘target’ substance(s) under consideration [see “Read-across assessment Framework”, ECHA, 2017, https://echa.europa.eu/documents/10162/13628/raaf_en.pdf]