Answer given by Ms Kyriakides on behalf of the European Commission
1. The Council of the European Union requested the Commission to submit, by 30 April 2021, ‘a study in light of the Court of Justice’s judgment in Case C-528/16 regarding the status of novel genomic techniques under Union law’. In this context, the Commission is carrying out targeted consultations with Member States and EU-level stakeholders. The participating stakeholders are active not only in the agri-food chain, but also in a variety of fields, e.g. pharmaceutical, cosmetic, academia/research, environmental protection, and, notably, include organic business operators and breeders. This ensures that the consultation is not biased and that the organic sector views are taken into account.
2. Overall, the Commission launches the majority of its open public consultations in all official EU languages in order to improve the outreach to stakeholders and to follow up to the cited Court of Auditors recommendations. However, the cited Court of Auditors’ report refers to public consultations, while the ongoing process on new genomic techniques is a targeted consultation. It addresses Member States’ competent authorities, which are expected to consult further within each Member State, and EU-level stakeholder organisations that could be directly or indirectly affected and/or have potential interest in new genomic techniques; the above procedure guarantees a broad Union overview, while allowing national-level views.