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Commission launches initiative following the Grenfell Tower tragedy

During a speech earlier this month at the European Parliament, Elzbieta Bienkowska, EU Commissioner for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs presented the EU Commission's response to the Grenfell Tower tragedy.

According to the Commissioner, the Commission has no compelling proof that national regulations are not reaching "objectives of fire safety". Therefore the EU Commission considers that it is not justified to regulate at EU level in order to ensure the fire safety of buildings.

Commissioner Bienkowska reminded the Members of the European Parliament (MEPs), that, under the current rules, the EU's role is to make sure that construction products which have the necessary performance requested in a given EU Member State are not rejected. To enable this, the EU sets common testing methods for specific products, not their safety requirements. Thanks to this Member States set their own safety requirements for buildings.

The Commissioner also mentioned two EU-funded independent studies related to the event and currently being carried out, on smoke toxicity from construction products in fire and on the fire performance of facades.

Finally, the Commission will set up a Fire Information Exchange Platform.

This forum will facilitate the exchange of information among national authorities and stakeholders.

• The Platform is expected to examine issues regarding the:

• various fire safety practices of Member States,

• lessons learned from fire incidents in the Union and abroad,

• experience obtained from new products and technologies, as well as

• use of fire engineering principles for setting regulatory requirements.

MEPs attending the debate following the Commissioner's speech globally responded positively to the EU Commission's announcement. MEP Stihler notably asked for a harmonised approach for the collection and sharing of data on fire safety.

Read the full transcript of the Commissioner's announcement.

Watch the video of the plenary debate.

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