The Environment Council of the Council of the European Union (EU) met on October 9, 2018. According to the outcome of the Council meeting, the items debated under any other business included the “Berlin Declaration” on nanomaterials, submitted by the German delegation and supported by the French and Luxembourg delegations. The Berlin Declaration summarizes the conclusions and recommendations of the 12th International Nano-Authorities Dialogue of Germany, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Austria, and Switzerland, and was acknowledged by the environment ministers of those countries at their annual meeting in June 2018. The Declaration “acknowledges the progress that has been made in the regulatory framework for nanomaterials in the last few years, and especially the European Commission’s Decision to adapt the annexes of the REACH Regulation to the requirements of nanomaterials. It also sets out the needs identified for further activities in this field, most of which will have to be addressed at EU level.” According to the Berlin Declaration, these needs include:

  • The adaptation of test methods within the context of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD);
  • A transversal definition of nanomaterials in all relevant regulatory contexts in the EU;
  • The approach to be taken to the emerging topic of “advanced materials”;
  • The continued support of research activities and the small- and medium-sized enterprises (SME) in the field of nanomaterials; and
  • Provisions to give the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) a permanent mandate for the EU Observatory for Nanomaterials (EUON).

Germany asked the Environment Council to take note of the Declaration.