Annika Suomi -

Introduction to keynotes on Thursday 14 June

Live Long

Chemicals are used everywhere in a modern society. Our standard of living is dependent on them. But they also have negative impacts on our health and on our environment. The more our society moves towards a circular economy the longer chemicals will stay in use and hence the more difficult it will become to remove chemicals which turn out to be problematic.

The REACH 10 year report and the Commissions Communication on it says protection is improving but we still have a long way to go. Implementing the actions recommended by the Commission will improve protection further and thereby improve our citizens wellbeing.

Bjorn Hansen, Executive Director, ECHA​



It’s a global world out there. A world with shale gas in the US, with growing markets in Asia. A world with two or even more regulatory chemical regimes. A Europe with Brexit coming soon.

Europe has REACH. It has been accepted and implemented by industry.

The last deadlines have passed. A second review made. Concluding that no major changes are needed, but we can still make it work better. “That said, the glass is at least half full and very far from being empty. Enormous progress has been made through the commitment of industry to be compliant with REACH and other EU chemicals legislations”.

But how do we move from there? How can we turn REACH in a competitive advantage? Make it work for the European industry to win global competition?

Making it smarter, leaner, cheaper? Enforcement? Foreign REACH policy? Preventing double work? Chemicals in articles?

Minimizing costs? Keeping it stable? Preferring REACH based chemistry? And for sure making sure no chemical enters Europe without being REACH compliant!

How do we make sure the science prevails the emotions? The world sees that European and national politicians actually follow their agencies opinions?

Time to discuss. Deadlines have passed, but REACH implementation has just started.

Marco Mensink, Director General, CEFIC​


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