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Balkan Stakeholders visiting European Institutions in Brussels and Paris

The visit took place as part of the “ Product and Chemical Safety in the Balkans “ - "Civil society cooperation on EU acquis and on values for consumer and corporate responsibility"

11.05.2011 |Bistra Mihaylova

NGO partners and associates from Macedonia, Serbia, Albania and Estonia in the building of DG Environment

During a five day visit to Brussels and Paris, between April 11-15, ten representatives of WECF's partner NGO's and national associates from Macedonia, Serbia, Albania and Estonia representing various institutions such as national governments, environmental NGO's and radio and tv were introduced to a wide range of European institutions.

The visit took place as part of the  “ Product and Chemical Safety in the Balkans “ project and was organised by WECF coordinators Bistra MIhaylova and Elisabeth Ruffinengo.

During the first two days all the participants had the chance to meet representatives of different European Institutions such as: DG Enterprise and Industry, DG Sanco,DG Environment, the NGOs EEB and ECOS. During these days the group gained knowledge in the international regulatory agreements on toys safety, the Rapex system and its connection to toys and cosmetics, as well as on Standardisation on flame retardants and REACH.

Participants during the meeting with Jakub Kosinski presenting the RAPEX system  at DG Sanco

Sascha Gabizon,  Executive Director of WECF attended some of the meetings as well. Chantal Van den Bossche (Public relations at WECF) took interviews from the partners who explained the existing situation in their countries and further activities in this project. (Later to be published on this website).

During the third day in Paris an NGO “C2DS“ which is working on hazardous substances contained in medical devices was visited, afterwards there were meetings at the Ministry of Environment and the National Consumer Institute, where the dispersed pollutions and the general safety of consumer products were presented and discussed.

Discussion with Bjorn Hansen at DG Environment, Brussels

The participants highly appreciated the chance to meet European officials directly working  in the fields related to the project which WECF and the partners are implementing in the above mentioned countries. All of them will use the obtained knowledge during their stay in Brussels/Paris to continue working  in the activities related to product and Chemical safety. The partners will place on their webpages short report about the visit and how it can serve them to implement the up-coming activities.

The next event related to this project will be on the  27th of  May in Skopje, a  “Journalists Workshop on Toys Safety“. There will be representatives from the partner organizations from Serbia and Albania, together with the project coordinator  from WECF . Henk Visser , who leads this and other projects from the side of the European Commission will welcome the participants.

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