(historical note: this is an article I wrote for IT Manager’s Journal, which published it at the URL http://management.itmanagersjournal.com/management/04/12/07/2312226.shtml?tid=84 on December 14, 2004. When I rediscovered the original text on my hard drive, on December 29, 2013, I put it back here with the original date as reference, since that whole website was closed years ago) The Member States of the European Union are getting ready to follow two directives that will have a deep impact on all the electronic industry.