Excessive changes would have a negative impact on the development of harmonized standards


In its 10th June plenary meeting, the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) adopted an information report on the revision of the Machinery Directive. The report analyses the impact and performance of Directive 2006/42/EC.

Today, the Machinery Directive aims at:

  • ensuring a high level of safety and protection for machinery users and other exposed persons and
  • securing the free movement of machinery in the internal market. 

The revision process coming under the Commission’s REFIT programme aims at ensuring that new technologies, such as Internet of Things IOT, Artificial Intelligence AI and the new generation of autonomous robots, are well taken into account.

The EESC deems the text to have stood the test of time and to be generally fit for purpose; while some adaptations might be necessary, radical changes in particular to the Essential Health and Safety Requirements (EHSRs) must be avoided for their potential negative impact on the ongoing work of developing harmonized standards. This is in line with CEMA’s position (read more here).

The EESC rapporteur Aurel Laurenţiu Plosceanu also encouraged the Commission to make a clearer connection between the two laws regulating the design and use of machinery, the Machinery Directive and the Use of Work Equipment Directive (Directive 2009/104/EC), to remove any doubt that the safe design of machinery for all the phases of its life cycle was a precondition of safe use.

When it comes to cybersecurity, the EESC recommends that it is dealt with in a separate piece of legislation which is then referenced in the revised Machinery Directive, equally in line with CEMA’s recommendation to approach it through a horizontal regulation.

After the public consultation on the Machinery Directive launched by DG Grow in June 2019, the European Commission currently schedules to adopt the revision in the first quarter of 2021. 

You can find CEMA’s position on the Machinery Directive revision here.

To read the full information report adopted by the EESC click here.