Browse Publications Technical Papers 2000-05-0384
2000-06-12

The role of government in the change from national to supranational legislation 2000-05-0384

As a result of the modification of the 58th Geneva Agreement in 1995, which invited non-European countries to join the Agreement, a process of harmonization of the compulsory-compliance standards in the automobile sector is taking place, to the detriment of the particular laws of each country. The number of countries involved in this process grows year by year.
At the moment, governments must make new legislation reconcile the interest of their countries, derived from their particular problems, with the interest of all the other countries involved. This process entails long negotiations, due to the existence of sometimes conflicting interest, defended by the different governments and manufacturers and consumers organizations.
In this new context, the role of national governments is directed at two complementary lines of action: a) active participation in the elaboration of the new standards at international forums, through the contribution of specific proposals based on previously developed research studies, and b) laboratory control through the establishment of a quality policy, which guarantees the reliability of test results.
This new working method causes the personnel involved to change function and brings the necessity of finding more human resources and, therefore, new financial sources. By presenting the Spanish example, this paper aims at providing other countries in this situation with a framework which may be useful to them in finding their own solution.

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