Participation at the European Forum for Manufacturing

Participation at the European Forum for Manufacturing

Marcel Dutrieux, Chair of the EGMF Machinery Directive Task Force, participated in an event organised by Orgalime and the European Forum for Manufacturing on the new Commission proposal on compliance with and enforcement of EU harmonisation legislation. This event took place on 21 February in the European Parliament, and was hosted by the MEP Maria Grapini (S&D, Romania) from the Internal Market Committee. The event brought together company representatives, different European associations, MEPs, the European Commission (DG GROW representative), and the Bulgarian Presidency.

After a general presentation on the Commission proposal by the European Commission’s Director-General for the Unit on Single Market Policy, the first panel put emphasis on companies’ practical examples and views regarding findings of non-compliance, cooperation with market surveillance authorities, and specific challenges (e-commerce, linked to the person responsible for compliance, the complexity of the legal framework for market surveillance etc.). In this panel, the EGMF speaker welcomed the proposal and stressed the importance of an open dialogue with the market surveillance authorities. In particular, the good cooperation with Prosafe on the Joint Action on chain saws was given as an example to show that authorities welcomed the support and expertise from EGMF on the selection of test institutes required for the first phase of the project. EGMF pointed out that the garden sector is willing to work with the authorities who should make use of manufacturers’ technical know-how (regarding operation of the machine, what tests to undertake etc.). In that sense, the proposed Union Product Compliance Network should in principle be a positive tool to enhance cooperation between authorities themselves, as well as between economic operators and authorities.

The second session of the event was a dinner debate which focused on political generic messages from different stakeholders (Orgalime, Business Europe). It also included two company interventions which highlighted the need for protecting investments for legitimate businesses, while market surveillance efforts should target those who deliberately break the rules. Ensuring proportionality in the foreseen measures is also key, to avoid that the latter unjustifiably become too stringent or burdensome for responsible economic operators.