Electrical Engineering accounts for 3% of the production, value-added and employment of the EU25. 9,615 electrical engineering enterprises with 20 or more employees produced in 2004 €192,870 m worth of electrical apparatus and equipment, directly employing 1,237 m people.
As a major supplier to other sectors, Electrical Engineering is very cycle sensitive.
The EU electrical engineering market is the world's largest one (€181 bn), followed by the US and Japan (€96 bn and €84 bn).
There are two main European Directives that apply to electrical and electronic equipment with respect to health, safety and performance:
- The Low Voltage Directive (LVD) 2006/95/EC
- The Electromagnetic Compatibility (EMC) Directive 2004/108/EC.
They are based on the principles of the so-called "New Approach" which ensure a high level of protection. They prescribe essential requirements, the voluntary use of standards, and the conformity assessment procedures to be applied. The almost total absence of third-party intervention in the conformity assessment greatly reduces the burden on the manufacturer. It is considered a model for other trade blocs. By means of the above and the application of the CE marking, these Directives have directly and substantially contributed to the Single Market for electrical and electronic products.
Additional environmental requirements may also need to be applied (e.g. RoHS, WEEE, energy efficiency requirements directives 2000/55/EC and 1996/57/EC). A non exhaustive list of EU legislation affecting electrical products is made available for information.
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