The EU Approach to Regulating Nanotechnology

46 Pages Posted: 14 May 2013

See all articles by Aida Ponce

Aida Ponce

European Trade Union Institute (ETUI)

Date Written: September 8, 2009


The European Union's (EU) nanotechnology strategy aims chiefly to catch up the lag behind the US and Asia. The health risks posed by the commercial use of nanomaterials have recently come onto the European Commission's agenda. The Commission has not so far seen a need for specific legislation to govern nanotechnologies - a view not shared by either Parliament or the European trade union movement.

The European Trade Union Confederation wants the EU to bring the Community legislative framework into line with the precautionary principle. Nanotechnologies may be an economic opportunity that the EU cannot ignore, but their unregulated development is causing growing concern among trade unions due to the health risks posed by certain types of nanomaterials.

In this publication, ETUI researcher Aida Ponce combines a detailed survey of European policy in the area with an exploration of the ethical and social issues surrounding nanotechnologies.

Keywords: EU law, nanotechnology, REACH, EU Regulation, trade union attitude, consumer protection, environment

Suggested Citation

Ponce del Castillo, Aida, The EU Approach to Regulating Nanotechnology (September 8, 2009). ETUI Working Paper 2010.05, Available at SSRN: or

Aida Ponce del Castillo (Contact Author)

European Trade Union Institute (ETUI) ( email )

B-1210 Brussels

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