The Strategy for the prioritisation of substances under HBM4EU was developed in the first half of 2017 and agreed at the meeting of the Governing Board in September 2017.
The strategy sets out the steps involved in identifying substances for research and surveys under the project. The Strategy also includes a set of prioritisation criteria, against which substances will be assessed. Key steps in the prioritisation strategy include the following:
- An online survey in which members of the EU Policy Board, the National Hub Contact Points and the members of the Stakeholder Forum are asked to nominate substances and/or groups of substances for work under the project. Survey participants were asked to justify their nominations by submitting information against the prioritisation criteria.
- Collection of survey results to produce a long list of all nominated substances and substance groups.
- Consolidating single substances and groups of substances where there is overlap.
- Reducing the long list down to a short list, by identifying those substances for which EU policy makers identified a need for evidence at EU level, and identifying those substances for which there is broad support. This involves narrowing down to those substances nominated by the EU Policy Board, substances nominated by more than one National Hub and substances nominated by one National Hub and by at least one member of the Stakeholder Forum.
- Producing background documents on all substances and substance groups on the short list, mapping information submitted in the online survey against the five prioritisation criteria.
- Holding a stakeholder workshop on prioritisation allowing for an open discussion on substances on the short list and giving the HBM4EU partners a chance to learn about stakeholder priorities and concerns in greater detail.
- HBM4EU partners will then refine the background documents and score the substances on the short list against the prioritisation criteria. The substances can then be ranked according to their overall score.
- The members of the Stakeholder Forum, the EU Policy Board and the National Hubs will then be given an opportunity to comment on the background documents and scores.
- The background documents and score for each substance and/or group will then be reviewed according to the comments received.
- The HBM4EU Management Board and the EU Policy Board will meet to review the final ranking and agree on a list of HBM4EU priority substances, taking into account the results of the prioritisation strategy, available project resources and political priorities.
- A final list of HBM4EU priority substances will then be sent to the Governing Board for their oversight and approval. Based on feedback from the Governing Board, changes to the list may be made.
Implementation of these steps began in 2017, with the aim of identify the 2nd list of HBM4EU priority substances.
The online survey held from July to September 2017. The stakeholder workshop on prioritisation was held in Brussels on 20 November 2017.
The results of the online survey and a report of the workshop will be made available on this webpage in January 2018.