During the Council meeting, the Environment Ministers held a public discussion on the progress made by the Slovak Presidency on negotiations on the legislative proposals on waste. The Presidency highlighted that a common understanding has been reached on issues such as by-products, early warning report, reporting and delegation of powers to the Commission. However, further clarifications are needed when it comes to definitions, calculation rules, end-of-waste criteria, economic instruments, EPR schemes and prevention of waste. The Council under the Maltese Presidency will further discuss exemptions, the overall level of ambition of the legally binding targets across the legislative package and how to take into account efforts on re-use. During the Council meeting, the Minister for Sustainable Development, the Environment and Climate Change of Malta, Dr Jose Herrera presented Malta’s Presidency priorities at the Council of the European Union on environment in Brussels. Dr Herrera said that Malta would like to focus on initiatives that will promote a competitive, resource-efficient and low-carbon economy within the framework of the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda. Regarding the Circular Economy agenda he said that Malta together with its counterparts will further advance the Circular Economy agenda by making substantial progress in negotiating proposals to amend six Waste Directives. Additionally, the Maltese Presidency plans on progressing on a number of other open as well as new files, including the amendment to the scope of the Restriction of Hazardous Substances Directive, the recast of the Persistent Organic Pollutants Regulation, the Fitness Check of the Birds and Habitats Directives, and the Environmental Implementation Review. Last, but not least, Member States, together with the Commission, expressed their desire to swiftly reach the consensus on the outstanding issues under the Maltese Presidency so that the negotiations with the European Parliament can start as soon as possible.