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The priorities for the 2024 Belgian presidency of the Council

Latest News 15 Jan 2024

On January 1st 2024, Belgium took the reins of the Council’s presidency for the 13th time. The priorities for the next 6 months have recently been issued, here an overview with focus on the key areas affecting our sector:

Internal Market and Industry

In its work programme and priorities, the Belgian Presidency outlined the need to review the state of the Single Market and set the future direction for 2024 - 2029, considering challenges and opportunities posed by the green and digital transitions. The presidency will try to finalise any remaining works on the Directive on Corporate Sustainability Due Diligence and will bring forward the Green Deal Industrial Plan for the Net-Zero Age, while also finalising the Right to Repair Directive. 

What do we expect?

  • Companies to only be held accountable for the actions of those with whom they have direct involvement and influence. Different levels of responsibility must be established between suppliers with whom the company has a contractual relationship, and other actors in the supply chain.
  • To achieve carbon neutrality by 2050, it is crucial to accelerate all decarbonisation technologies, including home appliances. It is important to incentivize and reward these technologies equally in order to make significant progress towards this goal.

  • It is essential to maintain the link between Ecodesign rules and the accessibility and availability of spare parts as well as prioritize consumer information about the safety aspects of repairs.

Digital and Cyber Policy

In the next 6 months, the Belgian presidency plans on finalising the remaining work on the Cyber Resilience Act and Artificial Intelligence Act on the technical level. It will also focus on promoting a joint approach to ‘Active Cyber Protection’ and conduct a review of the EU Cyber Policy

What do we expect?

  • European standards to reflect the actual level of cybersecurity risk posed by a product as a whole, taking into account the different levels of associated risks making a clear distinction between high and low-risk cybersecurity appliances.

  • The AI Act Regulation to address pending bureaucracy given by overlapping with other legislations. The draft law considers as high-risk products in which AI poses potential risks to individuals, society or environment. As the final text of the Act is being finalised, home appliances risk falling onto the wrong category because of a bureaucratic loophole. 

  • The EU Cyber Policy to strike a fair balance between safety and innovation, for Europe to become a global leader.


The Belgian Presidency will focus primarily on concluding the legislative work to enable the implementation of key Green Deal files. It will aim to advance the trilogues on the Packaging and Packaging Waste Regulation and find a General Approach on the Green Claims Directive. They will also pursue the implementation of the Chemicals Strategy for Sustainability, and foster discussions on some of its aspects, such as Microplastics and PFAS. The Presidency will also encourage discussion on the European Green Agenda beyond 2024 and on the upcoming European Commission communications on an EU climate target for 2040 and on climate-related risk. 

What do we expect?

  • Protective packaging for large home appliances to be exempted and its potentially improved sustainability properly tested against real life circumstances.

  • To enable a clear communication of the sector's commitment to sustainability, the Green Claims legislation should be balanced out between administrative complexity and product advancement, without hindering product innovation.

  • A risk-based assessment methodology should remain the fundamental principle to avoid halting innovation.

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