EU institutions and bodies
EU institutions and bodies
EU Institutions, bodies and agencies
ECHA is an EU agency, governed by EU public law. It has its own legal personality, but works together with the EU institutions, such as the European Commission, the European Parliament, the Council of the European Union, and with other EU agencies.
The Commission is ECHA’s key partner. It is responsible for planning, proposing and updating EU legislation as well as preparing implementing legislation that may be needed, for example, to set out fees for companies. It also makes sure that EU countries properly apply EU law, including the chemical laws that ECHA manages.
The Commission decides, for example, whether specific hazardous chemicals should be restricted under REACH or whether their continued use requires an authorisation. It also takes similar decisions under other pieces of legislation that ECHA manages. To support the decision making, the Commission requests scientific or technical advice from ECHA.
It may also ask ECHA to provide scientific advice in support of international activities, for instance, when developing and negotiating proposals for EU policy on managing the risks and hazards of chemicals.
The Commission supervises ECHA’s use of financial resources and the allocation of human resources.
It also appoints six representatives to the Agency’s Management Board, including three members without voting rights to represent interested parties.
European Commission Directorates-General
The different departments responsible for specific policy areas within the Commission are called Directorates-General (DGs). The following DGs are responsible for chemicals legislation or tasks that ECHA implements:
- The Directorate-General for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs (DG GROW) is ECHA’s main partner DG. It is responsible for the REACH and CLP regulations alongside the Directorate-General for Environment (DG ENV). It takes care of budgetary and administrative matters related to ECHA as well as the EU Observatory for Nanomaterials (EUON) and EU Chemicals Legislation Finder (EUCLEF).
- DG ENV is responsible for the REACH and CLP regulations together with DG GROW. In addition, it is in charge of the Prior Informed Consent (PIC) and Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) regulations, and the Waste Framework and Drinking Water directives. It leads the EU’s activity on international chemicals policy, such as OECD cooperation, the Stockholm and Rotterdam conventions, and relations to the Strategic Approach to International Chemicals Management (SAICM).
- The Directorate-General for Health and Food Safety (DG SANTE) is in charge of biocides legislation and a number of scientific issues, such as criteria for endocrine disruptors.
- The Directorate-General for Employment, Social Affairs & Inclusion (DG EMPL) is responsible for the Chemical Agents and Carcinogens and Mutagens directives, related to worker protection.
- The Directorate-General for Neighbourhood and Enlargement Negotiations (DG NEAR) is in charge of the EU's enlargement policy and the Instrument for Pre-accession Assistance (IPA) for candidate countries for EU accession.
- The Directorate-General for Research and Innovation (DG RTD) is managing research programmes that ECHA participates in, for example, the Partnership for the Assessment of Risks from Chemicals (PARC).
ECHA also cooperates closely with the Commission’s Joint Research Centre (JRC) on scientific topics, such as developing and validating alternatives to animal testing, the risk assessment of nanomaterials or the Review Programme on the risk assessment of biocides.