Risk Communication Network

The Risk Communication Network (RCN) was launched by ECHA's Executive Director in autumn 2008 and brings together representatives of the MSCAs involved, at a national level, in communication to the general public on the safe use of chemicals and the risks of substances.

The network serves as a platform for the Agency to conduct its legal mandate under the REACH Regulation to provide guidance in this regard, with a view to coordinating Member States in these activities. In comparison to the other two networks of the Agency, in particular to the HelpNet, the RCN has defined itself as "semi-active", thus designing its activities to take into account the limited resources that national authorities are able to dedicate beyond their domestic actions to this field of work.

The network provides an instrumental arena for the exchange of experience and best practice in this specific field of communication, acquaints national representatives with academic research and operational practices on this subject, and raises awareness on the various prerequisites for such communication, such as the need for public authorities to gain the  trust of their societies already through their routine communication on their day-to-day activities.

Since defining its own role in more detail following its establishment, the RCN has acted as a dedicated consultation forum on ECHA's "Guidance on the communication of information on the risks and safe use of chemicals" as well as on the Agency's "Study on the Communication of Information to the General Public", a report provided to the European Commission as forseen in the CLP Regulation, Art 34/1. 
 

In line with its objective of providing the platform to elaborate practical steps on risk communication, without seeking harmonisation beyond the coordination-focused guidance foreseen by the provisions of REACH, the Risk Communication Network  convenes its members for  occasional plenary meetings as well as workshops to progressively advance its agenda, not only as a platform for the exchange of experience and attending presentations, but also for topical training events and other hands-on activities.