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Product and Chemical Safety in the Balkans

"Civil society cooperation on EU acquis and on values for consumer and corporate responsibility"

15.02.2011 | WECF Project

Countries: The Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Albania, Serbia
Donors: European Commission, IPA Socio Economic Partnership Programme
Partners: Baltic Environmental Forum, Women´s Movement for Integral Development, Journalists for Women and Children Rights and Environmental Justice, Resource Center Leskovac
Issues: Chemicals & Health; Gender & Rights
Duration: 02/2011 - 02/2013

Many day-to-day products, like toys, contain hazardous chemicals. In regions like the Western Balkans people are not aware of this and sufficient regulation is not in place. The project identifies the needs of consumers, politics and the economy in this area and presents best practices that will improve the protection of health and the environment.

The European Union has legislation on consumer protection, product and chemical safety and a number of policies to strengthen sustainable production and consumption, such as in the area of European Eco-Label. Products imported from outside the EU have to comply with many of these regulations. For many consumers, producers and policy makers this area of legislation is difficult to understand. At the same time, it is part of the EU acquis which new EU member states will have to comply with. Product and chemical safety are of great concern to consumers, as severe health effects and even death can occur from the use of and exposure to unsafe products and substances. Children are more vulnerable to exposure to hazardous substances and unsafe products. Women make the majority of daily consumer decisions and are mostly responsible for the health and care of their families, which is why they have a special interest and concern for this topic. The problem this project will address is the lack of knowledge amongst consumers, producers and policy makers about the EU acquis in the area of product and chemical safety. Whilst increasing consumer protection, the economic changes resulting from the introduction of the acquis will create new challenges for producers and retailers. In the dialogue between producers, consumers and policy makers, the project will indentify best practices which bring added value and benefits for consumers and local market actors.

The project partners:
The project partners are Baltic Environmental Forum, Women´s Movement for Integral Development, Journalists for Women and Children Rights and Environmental Justice, Resource Center Leskovac, who will convene, in cooperation with WECF, a High-Level Conference on Corporate Social Responsibility in the area of consumer products like toys, conduct national round-tables and workshops, publish national inventories, present their findings and policy recommendations online and at national and international events.

Associate partners:
  • Institute for public health, Leskovac, Serbia.
  • Mr. Muhamed Hodza, General Secretariat of the Government of Macedonia.
  • Mrs Tania Floqi, Polytechnic University of Tirana, Department of Environmental Engineering, Macedonia
  • CSR toy producer “De Speelgaard”, Imke Philipoom Modriča, Bosnië en Herzegovina/Kamerik, Netherlands.

Project publications:


     Inventory Macedonia, English version

For more information:

This project is funded by the European Union

Project partners:

Baltic Environmental Forum

Women's Movement for Integral Development (LGZHI Albania)

Journalists for Women and Children's Rights and Environmental Justice

Resource Center Leskovac

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