AccESS: ECOS and nine national NGOs meet for the 3rd time

AccESS partners gathered in Brussels on 20 February for the 3rd Consortium meeting. With only 10 months to go until the end of the project, partners exchanged information concerning the different activities carried out by the project.

The aim of AccESS is to try out procedures and tools for collaboration between ECOS and its members to establish best practices and possible ways forward. The nine AccESS partners are currently participating in the review and development of standardisation deliverables on a variety of subjects. ECOS staff have already collected input from AccESS partners on standards and standardisation deliverables relating to a number of fields, including material efficiency, nanotechnology, bio-based plastics and electric vehicles. Under the strategic guidance of the ECOS Secretariat, the input from members is continuously incorporated into the ECOS comments and positions on these topics. At the same time, increased environmental NGO engagement in standards making has already received positive feedback from many members of European standardisation committees.

ECOS Secretariat also gather feedback and evidence on where the bottlenecks to such increased participation in standards-making lie. Whenever possible, solutions to these hurdles are being proposed jointly by ECOS staff and AccESS partners. Furthermore, the project explores the ways of informing on ECOS positions, taking into account the AccESS partners’ national reach and perspective. In fact, each partner is currently working on developing national databases of potential resources and expert contacts that can prove useful to both ECOS’ and members’ work on European standards.

The next steps of the project will revolve around establishing best practices on ways for ECOS to engage with membership on standardisation. A series of deliverables and communication material will be produced as a result of this internal reflection on ECOS’ working practices. Hopes are these will help engage many other environmental NGOs in standardisation and contribute to ensuring a better representation of civil society interests in the field.