13 Dec 2016
EUROPEAN COMMISSION DAILY NEWS – 13 DECEMBERBrussels Daily
New Plant Health Regulation: Statement by Commissioner Andriukaitis
The entry into force today of a new Plant Health Regulation marks an important moment for the protection of agriculture, the food chain and the environment in the EU. In times when global trade intersects with climate change challenges, the plant pests outbreaks, such as the current case of Xylella fastidiosa, should and can be anticipated. This legislation – when fully implemented by Member States by the end of 2019 – will ensure that the EU is better prepared to deal with these future outbreaks of plant pests, as well as reinforce the protection of the EU’s territory from the entry of non-European pests. Early detection of plant pests, better action plans for eradication, higher surveillance rules for the import of high risk plants, enhanced rules for the certification of plant products are among the new provisions which will make sure that we deal in a timely and swift manner from the potentially devastating effects of some plant diseases. I now count on the Member States to act responsibly when performing import controls and surveillance in their territories to avoid the presence of those pests. The full statement, as well as a detailed Q&A on the new rules, are available online.
Council breaks the deadlock on trade defence instruments modernisation
The European Commission welcomes the agreement reached today by the Council on its negotiating position on a proposal to modernise the EU’s trade defence instruments. “This is a major step in adapting our legislation to today’s economic realities”, said Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmström, adding that “Europe needs to make sure that we have modern, state-of-the-art tools in place to deal with unfair trading practices when needed. The EU stands for free, rules-based trade and we must be able to address unfair subsidies and dumping with determination. The tireless efforts of the Slovak Presidency, and by Member States, have been instrumental in finding this compromise. I now hope that constructive trilogue negotiations between the Council, Parliament and Commission can start without delay.” The agreement builds on the proposal presented by the Commission in 2013 aiming at providing Europe’s trade defence instruments with more transparency, faster procedures and more effective enforcement. In exceptional cases such as in the presence of distortions in the cost of raw materials, it will enable the EU to impose higher duties through the limited suspension of the so-called lesser duty rule. The October European Council asked for “an urgent and balanced agreement on the comprehensive modernisation of all trade defence instruments by the end of 2016”, following the discussion of the Communication presented by the Commission “Towards a robust trade policy for the EU in the interest of jobs and growth“. The Commission stands ready to facilitate the trilogue discussions with the European Parliament and the Council to agree and implement these changes.
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