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Commission won’t regulate toasters or hairdryers after Hoovergate scandal

November 8, 2016

Commission won’t regulate toasters or hairdryers after Hoovergate scandal

By James Crisp | EurActiv.com

The European Commission today (8 November) defended its decision not to consider hairdryers and toasters for green regulation, but admitted that negative headlines about meddling Brussels bureaucrats had influenced the executive’s thinking over Ecodesign rules.

EU rules governing the energy efficiency of vacuum cleaners sparked huge debate over perceived excessive red tape from the Commission.

Commission First Vice-President Frans Timmermans said the ‘Hoovergate’ headlines had stirred up Euroscepticism, after controversies in EU countries such as Germany and the UK.

“They have been very influential,” Timmermans said, after revealing that while hand dryers and kettles would be analysed for potential EU regulation, toasters would not.

“We are very sensitive to what we have seen in the past,” he said. The College of Commissioner had held two fully-fledged debates over which products to regulate he said.

“What we are doing is evidence-based. We want the products with the highest energy yield. That is why kettles are on the list and toasters are not on the list. The only way I can be convinced – I was very sceptical when I joined – is by evidence.”

The list of proposed products to be scrutinised over a three-year period was delayed until after the UK’s Brexit referendum in June.

Read more at EurActiv.com.

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