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2016/0383(NLE) - 15/02/2017 Legislative proposal

PURPOSE: to conclude the Agreement between the European Union and the Republic of Chile on trade in organic products.

PROPOSED ACT: Council Decision.

ROLE OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT: Council may adopt the act only if Parliament has given its consent to the act. 

BACKGROUND: in accordance with a Council Decision, the Agreement between the European Union and Chile on trade in organic products was signed, subject to its conclusion.

The Agreement aims at fostering trade in organic products, contributing to the development and expansion of the organic sector in the Union and in Chile and achieving a high level of respect for the principles of organic production.

It is now necessary to approve the Agreement on behalf of the European Union.

CONTENT: with this proposed Council Decision, the Council is called upon to approve, on behalf of the EU, the Agreement between the European Union and the Republic of Chile on trade in organic products.

In addition to fostering trade in organic products, the Agreement envisages the following actions:

  • expansion of the organic sector in the EU and Chile;
  • achieving a high level of respect for the principles of organic production, of guarantee of the control systems and of integrity of organic products;
  • improved protection of the respective organic logos of the Union and Chile;
  • enhanced regulatory cooperation between the Parties on issues related to organic production.

Equivalence agreement: The Union and Chile are called upon to recognise the equivalence of their respective rules on organic production and control systems as regards organic products. Accordingly, the Agreement provides that the products listed in the Annexes shall be mutually recognised as equivalent to the production of one party or the other in accordance with the legislation of one or the other parties.

Joint committee: the Joint Committee on Organic Products established pursuant to the Agreement, deals with certain aspects of the implementation of the Agreement. In particular, it has the power to amend the lists of products in Annexes I and II to the Agreement. The Commission should be authorised to represent the Union in the Joint Committee.

The Commission should be empowered to approve amendments to the lists of products in Annexes I and II to the Agreement, on the condition that it inform the representatives of the Member States. It should also be empowered to unilaterally suspend the recognition of equivalence, on the condition that it inform the representatives of the Member States prior to doing so.

In cases where representatives of the Member States representing a blocking minority object to the position presented by the Commission, the Commission should not be allowed to approve amendments to the lists of products in Annexes I and II or to suspend the recognition of equivalence. In such cases, the Commission should present a proposal for a Council decision on the basis of Article 218(9) of the Treaty.