The Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government, Minister Phil Hogan TD, has welcomed the agreement reached by the Council’s Working Party on Atomic Questions of the text of the Proposal for a Council Directive laying down basic safety standards for protection against the dangers from exposure to ionising radiation - the Basic Safety Standards Directive (BSS) was approved by COREPER on 4th June.
The proposed Directive represents a major step forward in the protection of European workers, members of the public and patients from harmful effects of exposure to ionising radiation. It will include inter alia, those exposed through medical applications, the use of certain building materials or in areas exposed to radon.
The Directive replaces 5 existing Directives and a Commission Recommendation. It updates and consolidates EU law on the basis of most recent scientific findings and regulatory experience. This directive represents an accumulation of nearly two decades of research in the area of ionising radiation safety standards at international level [including by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), World Health Organisation (WHO), Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD)].
Minister Hogan - " Developing safety standards through the BSS Directive was a key priority for the Irish Presidency of the Council of the European Union."
In welcoming this development, Minister Hogan said:
“This Directive signals the importance of safety and radiation protection in a broader international context, demonstrating Europe’s continued commitment and leadership in this area. Developing safety standards through the BSS Directive was a key priority for the Irish Presidency of the Council of the European Union. It represents the culmination of extensive and intensive work by delegations and experts during four Presidencies (Poland, Denmark, Cyprus and Ireland). The Directive is a complex piece of legislation including important provisions on graded approach to regulatory control; patient protection; emergency preparedness; radon and new provisions in relation to environmental protection. I am very pleased that the Council, under the leadership of the Irish presidency have been able to approve this text unanimously and without reservation.”
The file will return to COREPER for final approval following the European Parliament opinion (expected in October) and following the jurist linguist review. Member states will have then 4 years to transpose this directive into national legislation.