On 24 January, Ioannis Katsoyannis, former EuChemS Executive Board Member, Immediate Past Chair of the EuChemS Division of Chemistry and the Environment and President of the Association of Greek Chemists accepted an invite by President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen, who hosted a reception for prestigious guests in the Berlaymont Building of the European Commission in Brussels. Ioannis Katsoyiannis informed her about the science-policy activities of EuChemS, in particular in relation to the EU Zero Pollution initiative, which had its first event of the year starting on the same day.
This event, titled “Zero Pollution Monitoring and Outlook Workshop” was organised by the European Commission’s Zero Pollution Stakeholder Platform (ZPSP). EuChemS is an invited member of this platform, hence Ioannis Katsoyiannis, and Science Communication and Policy Officer Marton Kottmayer attended this workshop.
After the opening by Joachim D’Eugenio from the Directorate General for Environment of the European Commission (DG ENV), attendees – representatives of stakeholder organisations, EU institutions and invited guests – could hear about the progress ZPSP made in the last year. The key topic was the work on the creation of the second edition of a monitoring and outlook report, a task undertaken by the Joint Research Centre (JRC) and the European Environment Agency (EEA). Therefore, EEA and JRC speakers presented on lessons learned, and harnessed the comments of attending stakeholders. On 25 January, speakers from the Committee of the Regions (CoR) and DG ENV addressed various topics, including the overlaps between the ZPSP and the Chemicals Strategy for Sustainability, of which EuChemS is also involved with as a stakeholder. Other topics during the discussion included the future of the ZPSP after the 2024 European elections, and elevating the Zero Pollution Agenda to the global level by collaborating with the United Nations.