Commission launches online consultation on ‘New Approach’ Directives

The Commission has launched an online consultation concerning the functioning of so-called ‘New Approach’ directives on product regulation. Stakeholder input will be used to shape a Commission Communication that will set out proposals for improvements to the existing system.

The Commission has launched an online consultation concerning the functioning of so-called 'New Approach' directives. Stakeholders are invited to fill in a consultation questionnaire, focussing heavily on 'technical' issues. The questionnaire identifies the conformity assessment, designation and surveillance of certification bodies and enforcement measures as the two key aspects that require strengthening. The consultation uses Interactive Policy Making (IPM) tools and will end on 31 March 2002.

The consultation is part of a review intended to overhaul, update and upgrade the EU's 'New Approach' to product regulation. Directives on product regulation made under this approach lay down only essential requirements concerning safety and/or environmental performance, leaving it up to stakeholders to choose the appropriate technical solution to meet these requirements, often leading to European standards. This approach is designed to keep pace with technological progress whilst minimising the administrative burden placed on enterprises. The 'New Approach' is an alternative to the command and control-style regulation, but has been hevily critisised by consumers, environmental organisations and some Member States (notably Denmark).

 

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