Answer given by Mr Šefčovič on behalf of the Commission
1. The Commission is aware that some traditional varieties do not fulfil the examination criteria for variety registration. Therefore, the Commission adopted in 2009 less stringent requirements for the marketing of the so-called conservation and amateur varieties. Following a comprehensive evaluation, the Commission is currently concluding the review of the EU legislation on marketing seed and plant propagating material, including rules on conservation and amateur vegetable varieties. The review acknowledges the room for improving the legislation as regards these varieties. This legislation is distinct from Directive 98/44/EC on the legal protection of biotechnological inventions(1), which sets rules regarding the patentability of biological material, not the marketing thereof.
2. The ruling of the Court of Justice of the European Union of July 2012 (Case C-59/11)(2) confirmed the proportionality and legal efficacy of the EU legislation. National implementation of the directive 2009/145/EC on vegetable conservation and amateur varieties(3) has so far led to the registration in the vegetable Common Catalogue of 475 varieties within less than 21 months. The Commission is confident that the number of registrations of such varieties will continue to grow. Therefore, taking into account the ongoing review of the basic legislation, the Commission sees no reason to amend the current Directive 2009/145/EC on vegetable conservation and amateur varieties.
Commission Directive 2009/145/EC of 26 November 2009 providing for certain derogations, for acceptance of vegetable landraces and varieties which have been traditionally grown in particular localities and regions and are threatened by genetic erosion and of vegetable varieties with no intrinsic value for commercial crop production but developed for growing under particular conditions and for marketing of seed of those landraces and varieties (Text with EEA relevance) (OJ L 312, 27.11.2009, p. 44‐54).