On 13th of June, during the 10th EDA REACH Plenary Meeting, experts from Member States’ Ministries of Defence exchanged views with the European Commission (DG GROW) and representatives of the European defence industry on current developments concerning the European Regulation on Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals (REACH) and its interaction with defence.
The aim of the meeting was to jointly explore ways and means to meet REACH’s objectives and ensure a coherent application of the Regulation in the defence sector while, at the same time, minimise its possible impact on the operational capabilities of Member States’ Armed Forces and the EU defence industry’s competitiveness and innovation as an important stakeholder in support of European defence capabilities, including through the implementation of the EDA REACH Roadmap 2018-2020 activities.
The defence industry was represented by the Aerospace and Defence Industries Association of Europe (ASD) / REACH Working Group, National Defence Industry Associations (NDIAs) and individual EU defence industries. REACH experts from the European Space Agency also attended the meeting as observers.
EDA is addressing REACH and its defence implications since 2009, at the request of its participating Member States and in close coordination with the European Commission.
The Agency’s current work in this field is guided by the EDA REACH Roadmap 2018-2020 adopted by Member States in October 2017. The roadmap encapsulates a wide spectrum of activities and tasks aiming to support in a structured approach the main purpose of REACH, which is to protect human health and the environment, while taking into account the defence specificities.
EDA regularly invites the European Commission, the European Chemicals Agency and the EU defence industry to EDA REACH meetings, in order to facilitate a closer and more transparent interaction on REACH issues affecting defence, which is considered an important success factor for EDA’s work in this field.