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European Citizens' Initiative

Save Cruelty Free Cosmetics - Commit to a Europe Without Animal Testing

Submission and examination

The ‘Save Cruelty Free Cosmetics - Commit to a Europe Without Animal Testing’ initiative was submitted to the Commission on 25 January 2023, after having gathered 1,217,916verified statements of support. See press announcement.

The organisers met with the European Commission Vice-President for Values and Transparency, Věra Jourová and the Commissioner for Internal Market, Thierry Breton on 17 March 2023. See photo coverage.

A public hearing took place at the European Parliament on 25 May 2023. See recording.

The initiative was debated at the European Parliament’s plenary session on 10 July 2023. See recording.

The Commission adopted a Communication on 25 July 2023 setting out its response to the initiative ‘Save Cruelty Free Cosmetics - Commit to a Europe Without Animal Testing’. See press release.

 

Answer of the European Commission

Factsheet – Successful Initiatives – Save cruelty free cosmetics
 Factsheet – Successful Initiatives – Save cruelty free cosmetics
English
(1.31 MB - PDF)
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Main conclusions of the Communication:

The Commission outlines the following actions to further reduce animal testing in response to specific objectives of the European citizens' initiative:

  • Protect and strengthen the cosmetics animal testing ban: The EU Cosmetics Regulation already prohibits the placing on the market of cosmetic products that have been tested on animals, but this ban does not extend to safety tests required to assess risks from chemicals to workers and the environment under the EU Regulation on the Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation, and Restriction of Chemicals (REACH). The interface between the two pieces of legislation is currently being assessed in two cases before the Court of Justice of the European Union. The Commission will consider the outcome of the court cases in view of any future potential legislative changes.
  • Transform EU chemicals legislation: The Commission will work together with all relevant parties on a roadmap towards chemical safety assessments that are free from animal testing. The roadmap will serve as a guiding framework for future actions and initiatives aimed at reducing and ultimately eliminating animal testing in the context of chemicals legislation within the European Union.
  • Modernise science in the EU: The Commission will continue to strongly support  the development of alternative approaches with appropriate funding. It will also initiate a series of actions to accelerate the reduction of animal testing in research, education and training.

Follow-up

This section provides information on the follow-up actions that have been taken by the Commission and other institutions following the Commission's response.

Follow-up meeting

On 8 November 2023, Commissioner Virginijus Sinkevičius met with the organisers of ‘Save Cruelty Free Cosmetics - Commit to a Europe without Animal Testing' to discuss the Commission’s reply to the initiative.

Launch of work on the roadmap

In autumn 2023, the Commission started work on a roadmap to phase out animal testing for chemical safety assessments that was announced in its reply to the ECI.

A workshop involving interested stakeholders, including the organisers of the initiative, is planned on 11 and 12 December 2023. This will be a starting point for the development of the roadmap and will provide an opportunity for stakeholders to provide input and discuss possible approaches for the uptake of non-animal methods in chemical legislation.

The workshop will include case studies addressing two areas of concern, which will help to identify the necessary steps to develop the roadmap, and a section on enhancing the translation of non-animal methods into regulation, a key element to achieve the goal of an animal testing-free chemical legislation.

Judgments of the General Court on the relationship between REACH and the Cosmetic Products Regulation (T-655/20 and T-656/20)

As stated in the response to the first objective of the initiative – ‘protect and strengthen the cosmetics animal testing ban’ - the interface between the REACH Regulation and the Cosmetic Products Regulation was at the time being assessed by the Court of Justice of the European Union. The General Court issued its judgments on 22 November 2023 and clarified that the REACH Regulation requires companies that manufacture or import chemical substances that are only used in cosmetic products to provide information (if necessary, generated through animal testing) on hazardous properties for the safety assessment of workers manufacturing or processing these substances.

The Commission will carefully consider the Court’s judgments in view of any potential future measures.

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