Featured Technology And Sustainability In The Spotlight: European Commission Adopts 2022 Work Programme - Technology

Published on November 6th, 2021 📆 | 3514 Views ⚑

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Technology And Sustainability In The Spotlight: European Commission Adopts 2022 Work Programme – Technology

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Technology And Sustainability In The Spotlight: European Commission Adopts 2022 Work Programme

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The European Commission has adopted its 2022 Work Programme. As
expected, technology and sustainability are both high on the agenda
with the Commission setting out a bold vision for a
digitally-empowered, green Europe. We take a look at some of the
most critical proposals for those working in the products sphere
below. So, what’s coming down the pipeline?

The European Commission’s 2022 Work Programme contains 42
new policy initiatives, 26 initiatives for regulatory
simplification, 76 pending priority proposals and 6 proposals for
withdrawal – all related to the EU’s 6 headline ambitions.
Here’s our quick-fire review of the initiatives announced that
you should keep on your radar:

Environment, sustainability and the European Green
Deal

  • Right to repair and the circular economy. In
    Q3 2022, we expect to see the publication of a legislative
    initiative on the right to repair, building on the Commission’s
    Sustainable Product Policy initiatives from
    2021. While the details are not yet known, the aim is to extend the
    useful life of goods and strengthen the rights of consumers to
    repair products at fair prices, alongside encouraging producers to
    design goods that last longer. An impact assessment and public
    consultation will be carried out in Q1 2022.  
  • Zero pollution package. The Commission also
    announced a revision of Learn
    more
    Term details’>Regulation No 1272/2008
    on hazard classification, labelling and packaging of chemical
    substances and mixtures (CLP regulation). The legislative
    proposal is expected in the Q2 2022 and the changes are aimed at
    improving the safe use of chemicals in the EU and simplifying the
    existing rules e.g. on labelling. A public consultation on these
    amendments is open until 15 November 2021.
  • Plastics initiatives. The Commission announced
    four new initiatives focused on plastics and micro-plastics,
    including a policy framework for biodegradable and compostable
    plastics, and measures focused on restricting the use of
    microplastics. Although again the details are limited, the
    Commission’s zero pollution action plan states that the EU
    should reduce microplastics released into the environment by 30% by
    2030. These new initiatives are likely going to be crucial for that
    target.

Technology and digitisation

  • Cyber resilience. In Q3, we expect to see the
    launch of the European Cyber Resilience Act, which in part will
    propose new rules for connected devices to address potential
    software vulnerabilities and establish common cybersecurity
    standards for connected devices. This will be key for anyone
    working with new tech products, even those with basic connected
    properties.
  • Priority proposals. A number of existing
    digital initiatives have also been included as priority pending
    proposals for 2022, which indicates that they are considered
    significant and worthy of swift implementation. These include
    proposals for:

    • a new Artificial Intelligence Regulation, focused on
      adopting set of AI rules tailored on a risk-based approach;
    • a new Machinery Learn
      more
      Term details’>Regulation, which was
      initially proposed as part of the wider “AI
      Package”;
    • a new General Product Safety Regulation, which,
      amongst other objectives, will address product safety challenges
      linked to new technologies, online marketplaces, non-harmonised
      products and recalls;
    • a new Digital Services Act and Digital Markets Act,
      which will have far-reaching effects for online platforms and
      marketplaces, as well as a broad range of businesses that sell
      products and services online; and
    • amended rules standardising chargers for mobile phones and
      similar categories of radio equipment.

Revision of other existing legislation

  • Learn more
    Term details’>RoHS Learn more
    Term details’>Directive.
    The
    Commission announced that it would put forward a revision of EU
    rules restricting the use of hazardous substances in electronics.
    The legislative proposal, to be accompanied by an impact
    assessment, is expected in Q4 2022.
  • Detergents Learn
    more
    Term details’>Regulation.
    The
    Commission is expected to address the weaknesses stressed in the
    evaluation of the Detergents Learn
    more
    Term details’>Regulation (particularly
    clarifying its scope) via a legislative proposal in Q4 2022.

Relevant to all of the above, the Commission has confirmed that
green and digital ambitions will be more prominent in all
evaluations, impact assessments and consultations. As ever, there
is a lot to consider. If you’d like to discuss these
developments, please do reach out to us. The Cooley products team
has a lot of experience navigating the EU legislative process and
can help you to contribute your views, seek changes to draft
proposals or evaluate what this programme might mean for your
business.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.

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