29 Jun 2016
EUROPEAN COMMISSION DAILY NEWS – 29 JUNEBrussels Daily
Pesticides: after EU Member States fail to take responsibility for the decision on glyphosate extension, Commission extends the approval until European Chemical Agency issues its opinion
Despite repeated efforts from the Commission to address concerns expressed about the re-approval of glyphosate, Member States were not prepared to take responsibility for a decision as no qualified majority was reached at the Standing Committee on 6 June and again at the Appeal Committee on 24 June. As a result, taking into account the extremely thorough and stringent scientific assessment of the active substance by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) and the Member States’ national agencies, the Commission extended today the approval of glyphosate for a limited period of time, until the end of 2017 at the latest. By the end of 2017, an additional opinion on the properties of the active substance is expected from the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) the competent EU agency for the assessment of dossiers for the classification of chemical substances. Its opinion will be fully taken into account when deciding on subsequent steps. The Commission has also proposed to the Member States to restrict the conditions of use of glyphosate in the EU. These conditions include a ban of a co-formulant (POE-tallowamine) from glyphosate-based products, obligations to reinforce scrutiny of pre-harvest uses of glyphosate as well as to minimise the use in specific areas (public parks and playgrounds). Discussions with the Member States took place this week but were inconclusive. The Commission regrets that Member States have not yet been able to agree to these restricted conditions and will direct the necessary efforts to have them adopted as soon as possible. Questions and Answers on Glyphosate.
President Juncker participates in the European Council (28 June) and in the Informal Meeting of the Heads of State or Government of the EU-27 (29 June)
In yesterday’s joint press conference at the end of the European Council meeting, Commission President Juncker expressed his satisfaction that the European Council had once again given its full backing to the political priorities of the Commission, in particular those related to jobs, growth and investment. He also welcomed the swift political agreement on the establishment of a European Border and Coast Guard and called for its final formal approval by the European Parliament and the Council as soon as possible. He paid tribute to the Dutch Presidency of the Council of the EU and to the excellent inter-institutional cooperation. He expressed his full support for the new EU Global Strategy for Foreign and Security Policy presented by High Representative / Vice-President Mogherini. President Juncker also explained why the Commission is of the view, based on its legal analysis, that the EU-Canada trade agreement (CETA) is an “EU-only” agreement. He took note of the wish of most leaders that it should be considered as a mixed agreement, implying national ratification, and announced that the Commission would reflect on this basis in the coming days. Regarding the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) he was reassured by the fact that the European Council wants the Commission to continue negotiations. When asked by a journalist on the reason for the negative outcome of the United Kingdom Referendum, President Juncker gave his assessment that “if you are telling the public over years that something is wrong with the European Union (…) you should not be taken by surprise if voters do believe you”. He insisted that the notification under article 50 to withdraw from the European Union be triggered by the next British Prime Minister as soon as possible, in line with the joint statement agreed by the Presidents of the four EU institutions last Friday. Before this notification, there will not be any formal or informal negotiation with the United Kingdom, President Juncker repeated, referring to the written instruction he had given in this sense to the members of the College and senior Commission staff. He repeated that he was saddened by the outcome of the referendum, but said that now everybody had to act on its result. In his press conference with President Tusk after today’s meeting of Heads of State or Government of the EU-27, President Juncker said: “Es wird keinerlei Art von Verhandlungen geben bevor die britische Notifizierung über einen möglichen Austritt uns erreicht. No notification without negotiation.” He said that there was agreement that there would be no internal market à la carte: “Those who have access have to implement all our freedoms without exceptions and nuances.” President Juncker then added that while the EU needed further reforms, these were not a complement or the contrary of what was done now, referring to the conclusions of the European Council which mentioned the strategic agenda of the Council as well as the 10 priorities of the Commission which were entailed in this agenda. He said: “It is about speeding up reforms, not about adding reforms to already existing reforms.” Both press conferences are available on EbS.