In 2014-2015 ECOS, alongside a number of other civil society organisations, participated in a nano-dialogue run by BASF. This European dialogue was a natural progression on a national German dialogue run by BASF, as an extension of the German government’s national nano-dialogue. ECOS took part so as to be able to discuss in more depth and away from political pressure the different aspects of governance of nanomaterials with the world’s largest chemicals company and a nanomaterials producer. It was an opportunity to better understand how the multinational operates and how it engages with, and is affected by, a number of nano-governance initiatives.
The dialogue process identified some issue clusters relating to the responsible development of nano, especially relating to transparency, responsibility and dealing with uncertainty. Given the existence of a number of information-provision or data collection initiatives, there was a natural evolution to focusing on issues of transparency. The group assessed individual tools according to different needs from the perspectives of public authorities, consumers and workplaces (so occupational or worker health). The tools included the EU chemicals legislation REACH, and an information tool designed into the Cosmetics Regulation. Non-EU level tools assessed were the French nano-registry, a German information portal called DaNa, the Danish NanoRiskCat and Nanodatabase, and a German e-learning tool on occupational health and safety called Nanorama.
ECOS contributed to the report launch event organised in March, where European Commission officials updated the audience on delayed REACH Annex revisions and the decision to reject the creation of an EU nano-register. On this latter tool, the Commission has decided to create a Nano Observatory and it will hold a stakeholder workshop on the potential contents of the Observatory in April. ECOS is expecting to be invited to the workshop as an active participant in EU nano-governance.
Find the report in English here.