Asbestos in buildings: EU Commission will publish initiative following Unions’ pressure

Carcinogens ©CanStockPhoto kgtoh

(2 February 2024) The European Commission promised, back in 2022, to publish a legislative initiative on the screening of buildings from asbestos. This urgent demand was included as well in the European Parliament’s report on the revision of the directive on protecting workers from asbestos. Since then, however, the publication has been postponed over and over again, despite the call of Unions and Social Partners in favour of such an initiative.

In late 2022, the Local and Regional Governments social dialogue committee supported this piece of legislation, expressing in particular the need for the establishment of national registries of the presence of asbestos in buildings and the pledging for the full accessibility of such registries to firefighters and emergency services, for them to be able to know when intervening in a contaminated site.

The call to the Commission has been ongoing since then. Trade unions and the LRG Social Dialogue Committee have recently written to the President of the European Commission to urge her to respect her promises. Today the Commission has finally told the press that the legislative initiative will be published before the end of the parliamentary term. EPSU welcomes this news and will continue monitor and pressure to have it indeed on the table before the end of March.

EPSU CEMR Joint Letter to European Commission President on asbestos screening