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15.3.

2000 EN Official Journal of the European Communities C 75/15

Opinion of the Economic and Social Committee on the ‘Proposal for a European Parliament and
Council Directive on the protection of workers from risks related to exposure of biological
agents at work (Seventh individual Directive within the meaning of Article 16 (1) of
Directive 89/391/EEC)’

(2000/C 75/06)

On 21 October 1999 the Council decided to consult the Economic and Social Committee, under Article
262 of the Treaty establishing the European Community, on the above-mentioned proposal.

The Section for Employment, Social Affairs and Citizenship, which was responsible for preparing the
Committee’s work on the subject, adopted its opinion unanimously on 16 December 1999. The
rapporteur was Mr Thomas Etty.

At its 369th plenary session of 26 and 27 January 2000 (meeting of 26 January), the Economic and
Social Committee adopted the following opinion by 122 votes in favour, no votes against, and with five
abstentions.

1. The Committee agrees in general terms with the Com- (as a minimum requirement). The Directive on protection of
mission that it is important to simplify and clarify Community workers from biological agents of 1990 has been amended
law, without affecting the level of protection. This is certainly four times in 1993, 1995, 1997 and again in 1997.
desirable in the area of occupational safety and health legis-
lation where the architecture of existing instruments has 4. The Committee fully agrees with the present proposal.
become, in some cases, very complicated.
5. Finally, the Committee refers to the five general rec-
2. It notes that the purpose of the consolidation operation ommendations regarding codifications of occupational Safety
will not involve changes of substance to the present legislation. and Health Directives in its Opinion of October 20-21 last on
the ‘Proposal for a Council Directive on the Protection of
workers from the risks related to exposure of carcinogens at
3. The Committee also notes that the Commission’s work (Sixth individual Directive within the meaning of Article
decision of 1 April 1987 states that all legislation measures 16 (1) of Directive 89/391/EEC) (codified version) (COM(1999)
should be consolidated after no more than ten amendments 152 final — 98/0085 SYN)’.

Brussels, 26 January 2000.

The President
of theEconomic and Social Committee
Beatrice RANGONI MACHIAVELLI