The agreement “Living well, within the limits of our planet” tackles major issues for European workers and citizens such as the combination effects of chemicals, the safety concerns related to endocrine disruptors and nanomaterials, the development of inspection support capacity, the phasing out of environmentally harmful subsidies, and sustainable consumption and production. By stressing the need to secure the necessary investments, this agreement is a good base from which to guide Europe towards a low-carbon and resource efficient economy in which biodiversity is protected and enhanced. Insisting on investment also demonstrates that the current austerity policies will undermine the just transition towards a greener EU economy.
In advance of the agreement, the Finnish Insitute of Occupational Health (FIOH), together with leading European researchers in nanosafety, produced a research strategy for the European Commission. The strategy outlines the focal points of nanomaterial safety research for the Commission’s 8th framework programme (Horizon 2020). The EU will give approximately 200 million euros to nanosafety research in 2015–2020.
“This document sets strategic priorities for nanosafety research during the 2015-2025 period, which the ETUC welcomes”, stated Judith Kirton-Darling, ETUC Confederal Secretary. “Within these, various goals are set for research on safety issues. However, social partners should be better involved more regularly, and not only in the dissemination process. For the ETUC, involvement at the beginning of the process is essential, ethical issues need to be incorporated as well as a long term vision on safety assessment”, she stressed.
- Deal on 7th EAP: http://ec.europa.eu/environment/newprg/index.htm
- Nano-Safety in Europe 2015-25: http://www.ttl.fi/en/publications/Electronic_publications/Nanosafety_in_europe_2015-2025/Documents/nanosafety_2015-2025.pdf