May 18, 2018
Deputy Head of the Federal Service for Accreditation (RusAccreditation) Sergey Migin and Deputy Head of the Department of Legal Support and International Cooperation Alexey Melyachenkov took part as observers at the meeting of the 41st General Assembly of the European Cooperation for Accreditation (EA), held May 16-17, 2018 in Sofia Bulgaria).
The General Assembly is the topmost body of the European Cooperation for Accreditation. It unites 50 states of Western and Eastern Europe, North Africa and the Caucasus whose accreditation bodies enjoy the status of a full or associate member of the EA. The General Assembly meetings are organized twice a year in various countries of the EA. That is when the EA members define the strategy of the EA, form its governing bodies, hear reports of profile committees and working groups and make decisions related to the enhancement of the European market and to the promotion of European producers overseas. The General Assembly meeting in Sofia included the election of a new EA chairman that ended up with the appointment of the representative of Spain, Ignacio Pina Ledejma, the former chair of the EA Horizontal Harmonization Committee, while the representative of the Greek accreditation body Maria Papadziku got the position of a vice-chairman. The EA management reform attracted a lot of attention. The beginning of Brexit entailed the question if the UK Accreditation Service will keep its full member status in the EA after March 30, 2019. Discussions revolved around the implementation of the Protocol to the EU – Canada trade agreement on mutual acceptance of conformity assessment results. Other matters discussed referred to the revision of the EA policy concerning accredited bodies with a flexible scope, as well as the procedure and criteria for conformity assessment in the EA.
The fact that the Federal Service for Accreditation takes part in the EA agenda makes it possible to monitor the EA decisions (especially those that might affect access to the European market), to foster bilateral cooperation with foreign accreditation bodies and to outline issues of mutual interest.