31 Mar 2016
EUROPEAN COMMISSION DAILY NEWS – 31 MARCHBrussels Daily
Commissioner for Health and Food Safety Vytenis Andriukaitis welcomes adoption of Animal Health Law, another weapon in the fight against animal diseases and antimicrobial resistance
“I welcome the adoption of the new Animal Health Law by the European Parliament and the Council on the basis of the Commission’s proposal. The new law that comes into force on 20 April paves the way for a more efficient system to combat transmissible animal diseases. These diseases, like foot and mouth disease or bluetongue, can have a devastating effect on our livestock production. Others, such as avian influenza, or certain newly emerging diseases, also have the potential to affect human health. The new law provides a single, comprehensive animal health framework to replace the series of complicated rules which have accumulated over the years. Compared with the system currently in place, the new Animal Health Law provides simpler and clearer directions for national authorities so they can focus on the main priorities when combating animal diseases. The adopted legislation also clarifies the division of responsibilities between animal keepers, traders, veterinarians, and national authorities and puts in place better notification and surveillance tools to fight animal diseases. This in turn should lead to fewer epidemics in EU countries, and help them reduce their social and economic effects thus ensuring the competitiveness and safety of EU livestock production. The new legislation also recognises the importance of recent emerging issues, such as antimicrobial resistance, and sets out a better legal basis for monitoring animal pathogens which are resistant to antimicrobial agents. This will be supplemented by two further proposals – on veterinary medicines and on medicated feed – currently being negotiated in the European Parliament and Council. I would like to thank both the European Parliament and the Council. Today’s agreement will allow us to improve our handling of animal disease outbreaks, thus ensuring that the economic impacts of disease on our agriculture are lessened to the greatest extent possible, and that we protect growth and jobs in a sector which is key also to EU food safety and food security.” For the full text of the proposal and detailed Q&As see here.
EUROSTAT: EU’s top trading partners in 2015: the United States for exports, China for imports
In 2015, the United States (€619 billion, or 18% of total EU trade in goods) and China (€521 billion, or 15%) continued to be the two main goods trading partners of the European Union (EU), well ahead of Switzerland (€253 billion, or 7%) and Russia (€210 billion, or 6%). Trends observed over recent years are however very different for these top trading partners of the EU. After recording a significant and almost continuous fall until 2011, the share of the United States in EU total trade in goods has begun to increase again to reach 18% in 2015. The share of China has doubled since 2002, rising from 7% to 15% in 2015. Since 2013 the share of Russia in total EU trade in goods has declined sharply to 6% in 2015. The share of Switzerland remained almost unchanged at 7% over the entire time period.A Eurostat press release is available here.