A delegation from the European Biosafety Network, together with Stephen Hughes MEP, met last week in Strasbourg with Commissioner Andor, who is responsible for the implementation of the recently published Sharps Directive.

The delegation updated the Commissioner on the European Biosafety Summit held in Madrid in June. It also took the opportunity to highlight the Network’s priorities of raising awareness of the Directive to employers and employees, ensuring consistent, effective and prompt implementation of the Directive, disseminating the Network’s Implementation Guidelines on the Directive to Member States and encouraging other occupational groups to adopt the Directive as best practice.

The delegation sought the Commissioner’s endorsement of these priorities, asked that he encourage the adoption of the Network’s implementation guidelines and raised the issue of funding to facilitate effective implementation of the Directive in Member States. The Commissioner said that he was very grateful for the Network addressing these priorities and undertook to consult with colleagues in the Commission and respond to the Network’s specific proposals.

Delegation member and Co-Chair of the European Biosafety Summit, Cliff Williams, said:

“We are very grateful for the Commissioner giving some of his valuable time to talk with us about a shared goal – the effective and consistent implementation of the Directive. We hope we persuaded him of the logic that the Directive should also be adopted as best practice across all affected workplaces, in addition to the very important healthcare sector which it directly addresses, rather than having to tackle the issue of needlestick injury occupational group by occupational group. We share the same objectives as the European Commission and the meeting was a good opportunity to propose ways of working together to achieve those shared objectives.”