"The European Commission welcomes the fact that the European Parliament has completed its first reading on REACH. By supporting the Sacconi/Nassauer compromise on registration the EP strikes a very good balance between the health, environment and competitiveness goals of REACH. The Commission will carefully assess the European Parliament's position on the other issues. This vote opens the way to a balanced agreement in Council by the end of the year. The Commission will continue to play a constructive role as facilitator in order to achieve a compromise that makes REACH more effective and more workable, while preserving a high level of protection for health and the environment", the responsible Commissioners Günter Verheugen (Enterprise) and Stavros Dimas (Environment) said on 17 November.