European Energy and Environmental Law Review

Volume 15 (2006)

Volume 15 (2006) / Issue 8/9

Geert van Calster, 'Regulating Nanotechnology in the European Union' (2006) 15 European Energy and Environmental Law Review, Issue 8/9, pp. 238–247


It is often a quote’s fate to be taken completely out of context. And undoubtedly this is also true for the above statement. The above extract illustrates the exasperation sometimes felt by those at the receiving end of regulation for new technologies. This is in particular the case vis-à-vis the EU answer to regulatory, especially Safety, Health and Environmental concerns. For the regulation of nanotechnology, the presumption is that the EU will adopt a cautious approach, whether or not based on the current regulation. Much like in the US and elsewhere, there is no tailor-made regulatory framework for nano. Part of industry fears that REACH, the new EU’s chemical policy, may be used as a source of inspiration, which would imply a qualified shift of the burden of proof of safety, from the authorities to the manufacturer. Product liability is less likely to play a preponderant role, at least at the EU level (as opposed to the Member States), as the EU’s harmonisation in this field in practice is limited only.

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ISSN: 0966-1646
ID: EELR2006024