ORGALIME, the liason committee of the European metalworking and engineering industry, has signed a contract to represent EUROM 1, the committee that groups all the major national associations of eyewear lens and frame manufacturers in Europe, in its relations with the regulators of the European Union in Brussels on a permanent basis.

The move, which has been under preparation for more than one year, had become necessary more than ever because of the growing involvement of the European Commission and other bodies of the EU in such issues as health, consumer protection, technological development and the fight against counterfeiting, which are becoming more and more important in the eyewear sector.

The members of EUROM 1, which is currently led by Bertrand de Limé, chairman of the French optical industry association (GIFO) and European director of Essilor, will use the services of ORGALIME to state their position on these issues and others such as trade regulations and labels of origin. They will also obtain a constant flow of information on regulatory activity in Brussels in such areas as allergenic materials, medical devices, consumer goods and their distribution.

ORGALIME, an organization which is more than 50 years old and has a permanent staff of about 12 people run by Adrian Harris, has been involved in issues like the European nickel directive in defending the interests of cookware manufacturers. It has been representing producers of vessels, pumps, gardening equipment and other kinds of products.

The agreement with ORGALIME places EUROM 1 on a similar footing as Vision Council of America, which has its lobbyists in Washington. EUROM 1 decided to take this important step at its annual meeting in Monte Carlo last June, with the financial help of all the affiliated national organizations in France (GIFO), Germany (Spectaris), Greece (HAOLM), Italy (ANFAO), Spain (AEO), Switzerland (SGO) and the UK (FMO).

At the meeting, the members of EUROM 1 analyzed the first results of their common study on the dispersion of nickel on eyeglass frames, which should be completed by the end of this year, and a proposal to change the classification of certain types of sunglasses in the EU's directive on personal protection equipment. They did not talk much about labels of origin, which will be the subject of a working group meeting during the SILMO fair in Paris next month.