01 Jun 2016
EUROPEAN COMMISSION DAILY NEWS – 01 JUNEBrussels Daily
Glyphosate: Commission proposes the way forward – Statement by Commissioner for Health and Food Safety, Vytenis Andriukaitis
Today the Commission called for the EU Plants Animals Food and Feed Committee to meet on June 6 to discuss a limited extension of the current authorisation of glyphosate, an active substance used for the production of pesticides, until the European Chemical Agency gives its scientific assessment on the substance. Commissioner Andriukaitis debriefed his colleagues Commissioners on the state of the discussions that the Commission is having with the Member States on the Glyphosate file. “[…] The EU’s authorisation procedure as regards pesticides is the strictest in the world. It takes years of scientific assessment before an active substance is authorised – or renewed at EU level. Our scientific process is very stringent and relies on pooling of expertise between the European Food Safety Authority and all 28 Member States. […] We have been aiming at a solution that commands the widest possible support of the Member States. So far, even though a majority of Member States is in favour of the renewal, no qualified majority has been reached, in spite of the Commission’s efforts to accommodate requests and concerns from a number of national governments, as well as from the European Parliament (which expressed itself in favour of a 7-year renewal). Some Member States have been reluctant to take a position. […] The EU approval of an active substance only means that the Member States can authorise plant protection products on their territory, but they are not obliged to do that. The Member States who wish not to use glyphosate based products have the possibility to restrict their use. They do not need to hide behind the Commission’s decision. […] However, if there is no EU approval, Member States have no choice anymore: the authorisation expires on the 1st of July. Should there be no extension, Member States would have to withdraw the authorisations for plant protection products containing glyphosate from their market. We have now called for the Expert Committee to meet on the 6th of June to discuss the file once again and take the vote on the basis of a limited extension of the current approval, until ECHA opinion dispels the remaining doubts. Next Monday, Member States will therefore be asked to vote on such a measure. Once again, this is a collective decision. Going beyond these immediate measures, the Commission is preparing a second decision, reviewing the conditions of use of glyphosate. […] In conclusion, I want to reiterate that the ball is now in the Member States’ court. […] As a Commissioner for Health and Food Safety, I reiterate that for me high level of protection of human health and the environment, as provided for by the EU legislation, is paramount. At the same time, I remained deeply convinced that our decisions should remain based on science, not on political convenience. I look forward to a response from the Member States.” Full statement and details on the proposal are available online.
Commissioner Hogan in China for official visit and G20 meeting
Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development Phil Hogan is arriving today in China for an official visit and to participate in the G20 Agriculture Ministers Meeting that will evolve around the theme of “Agricultural Innovation and Sustainable Development”. On the sidelines of the G20 meeting, Commissioner Hogan will hold a series of bilateral meetings with Ministers from across the globe. Commissioner Hogan first meets today in Beijing Mr Bi Jingquan, Minister of China Food & Drug Administration (CFDA). Continuing his visit in Xi’An on Thursday, he will then meet the Agriculture Ministers of Argentina, Brazil, China, Germany, Japan and Mexico. On the same day, Commissioner Hoganwill also deliver a speech at the G20 Agricultural Entrepreneurs Forum on the topic of innovation, cooperation and sustainable agriculture development. About 200 participants from renowned agricultural enterprises of G20 Member States, international organisations (such as FAO, UNCTAD, World Bank, OECD) and relevant international financial, investment and consulting agencies participate in the Forum. The G20 Agriculture Ministers Meeting will take place in Xi’An on Friday 3 June.
Commissioner Malmström to steer trade negotiations at OECD Ministerial Conference
Commissioner Malmström will today be travelling to Paris to attend the OECD Ministerial Council Meeting today and tomorrow, which will focus specifically on measures to increase productivity in order to bring about inclusive growth. The Commissioner will notably take part in a session on the contribution of trade and investment to this important goal. In the margins of the OECD Ministerial, Commissioner Malmström will attend an informal ministerial gathering of a group of WTO members. Building on the successful ministerial in Nairobi last year, the goal is to reinvigorate the WTO negotiating agenda through new approaches and proposals across a range of issues that pose challenges for global trade. Commissioner Malmström will also chair a ministerial meeting on the negotiations for an agreement on trade in Services (TiSA), which takes place in parallel with the ongoing 18th round of negotiations in Geneva. At this meeting, the Commissioner will focus on bringing about a common understanding on the steps needed to bring this deal to a successful conclusion, following the Davos Ministerial earlier this year which called for a swift conclusion of the negotiations. In line with its commitment to transparency, the Commission published last week its revised TiSA offer. In addition, Commissioner Malmström will attend a ministerial meeting on negotiations for an Environmental Goods Agreement, as well as a series of bilateral meetings with important commercial partners. Today, before leaving to Paris, Commissioner Malmström will take part in a panel discussion at the European Business Summit on the topic of an EU-Canada Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA), together with the Canadian Minister for International Trade Chrystia Freeland
NEWS IN FULL