Engagement with stakeholders, including non-governmental organisations representing environmental, health and consumer priorities, as well as trade unions and representatives of industry, is crucial to the success and sustainability of the HBM4EU project.

An introductory brochure entitled “HBM4EU An introduction for stakeholders” is available for download.

HBM4EU stakeholders play a key role in:

• Understanding societal challenges and needs
• Setting research priorities that address those needs
• Ensuring that HBM4EU activities are legitimate and credible
• Implementing procedures that are transparent and accountable
• Delivering result that respond to societal needs and  generate benefits for society
• Acting as multipliers in the dissemination of HBM4EU results

The HBM4EU contact point for Stakeholders, the Austrian Environment Agency, is facilitating an on-going dialogue with stakeholders to ensure that a broad range of views are represented in the project. Stakeholder involvement offers many possibilities to enhance HBM4EU work.

Stakeholder input to the identification of priority substances and priorities for research on health effects can help to ensure that HBM4EU research addresses genuine societal concerns, and can stimulate the development of safer substitutes. Engaging with stakeholders will draw in the perspectives of consumers and patients and ensure that relevant issues are addressed under HBM4EU.

By engaging with stakeholders as multipliers in the dissemination of results, HBM4EU will contribute to increasing transparency about exposure to chemicals via consumer products and at the work place, as well as fostering the broader exchange of information in international networks.

HBM4EU Stakeholder Forum

The Stakeholder Forum is the formal channel for stakeholder input to the HBM4EU project and was established in May 2017. The members of the Stakeholder Forum were selected by the HBM4EU Management Board and the EU Policy Board and include the following:

The Stakeholder Forum will meet once annually at a minimum, back to back with the Governing Board. The first meeting was held on 5 September 2017. The minutes of the first meeting of the Stakeholder Forum are available here.

The Stakeholder Forum is invited to provide strategic input to key HBM4EU processes. The HBM4EU partners will engage actively with the Stakeholder Forum, through workshops and written requests for input.

In 2017, members of the Stakeholder Forum were invited to contribute to the prioritisation of substances for research and analysis under HBM4EU. As a first step, members of the Stakeholder Forum were invited to participate in an online survey from July to September 2017 in order to nominate substances for research. National Hubs and members of the EU Policy Board also nominated substances.

As a second step, a broader range of stakeholders were invited to a Stakeholder Workshop on Prioritisation, held in Brussels on 20 November 2017. The workshop provided a opportunity for stakeholders, as well as policy makers and scientists, to discuss the nominated substances, identify their key priorities and explain why these substances are of social concern. The agenda of the meeting is available here. A workshop report is being drafted an will be made available in January 2018.

The next step in the prioritisation strategy is the production of background documents and the scoring of nominated substances against the prioritisation criteria. Stakeholders will be asked to review the documents and the scores, prior to a final decision on the 2nd list of HBM4EU priority substances for research and analysis. For more information on the prioritisation strategy see here.