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Reconsidering the General Food Law

30-09-2019

On 11 April 2018, the European Commission published a proposal to review the General Food Law Regulation and amend eight legislative acts dealing with specific food chain sectors. The proposal follows up on the European Citizens' Initiative on glyphosate; and especially on concerns regarding the transparency of the scientific studies used in the evaluation of pesticides. The proposal also responds to a fitness check of the General Food Law, completed in January 2018. The proposal's objective is to ...

On 11 April 2018, the European Commission published a proposal to review the General Food Law Regulation and amend eight legislative acts dealing with specific food chain sectors. The proposal follows up on the European Citizens' Initiative on glyphosate; and especially on concerns regarding the transparency of the scientific studies used in the evaluation of pesticides. The proposal also responds to a fitness check of the General Food Law, completed in January 2018. The proposal's objective is to increase the transparency and sustainability of the EU scientific assessment model, and other aspects such as governance of the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA). In the European Parliament, the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety (ENVI) adopted its report on 27 November 2018. A vote in plenary to finalise Parliament's position took place on 11 December and the Council adopted its position on 12 December 2018. A provisional agreement was reached in trilogue on 11 February 2019 and endorsed in the ENVI committee on 20 February. The European Parliament adopted the text at first reading on 17 April; the Council adopted it on 13 June. The final act, signed on 20 June, was published in the Official Journal on 6 September 2019 and is applicable, for the most part, from 27 March 2021.

Data flows- Future Scenarios

14-11-2017

Prepared by Policy Department A at the request of the European Parliament’s Committee on Industry, Research and Energy (ITRE), this report examines the current state of play in the open data market and the legal framework in the EU. Barriers and possible solutions are identified in the form of future scenarios to 2020-25. The key policy recommendation is to instigate a system of Open Data Licensing to drive access to open data, akin to open source software licensing.

Prepared by Policy Department A at the request of the European Parliament’s Committee on Industry, Research and Energy (ITRE), this report examines the current state of play in the open data market and the legal framework in the EU. Barriers and possible solutions are identified in the form of future scenarios to 2020-25. The key policy recommendation is to instigate a system of Open Data Licensing to drive access to open data, akin to open source software licensing.

Externí autor

Colin BLACKMAN, Camford Associates Ltd; Associate Research Fellow, CEPS. Simon FORGE, SCF Associates Ltd.

European Medicines Agency: A look at its activities and the way ahead

10-07-2017

The European Medicines Agency (EMA) is a decentralised agency of the EU. Its mission is to foster scientific excellence in the evaluation and supervision of medicines in the Member States of the EU and the European Economic Area. The EMA began operating in London in 1995. In the context of the United Kingdom's withdrawal from the EU (Brexit), the EMA will have to move to another location that will be decided upon by common agreement among the remaining 27 Member States (EU-27). The criteria and the ...

The European Medicines Agency (EMA) is a decentralised agency of the EU. Its mission is to foster scientific excellence in the evaluation and supervision of medicines in the Member States of the EU and the European Economic Area. The EMA began operating in London in 1995. In the context of the United Kingdom's withdrawal from the EU (Brexit), the EMA will have to move to another location that will be decided upon by common agreement among the remaining 27 Member States (EU-27). The criteria and the decision-making process for selecting the new location were announced on 22 June 2017. Interested Member States have until 31 July 2017 to submit their offers. A decision is expected to be taken in November 2017. The EMA is governed by a management board and employs 897 staff (December 2016 figures). Its executive director is Guido Rasi. Around 89 % of the agency's budget comes from fees and charges levied for services rendered. Its scientific work is conducted in its scientific committees, working parties and other groups. Its main activities include: facilitating the development of and patient access to medicines; evaluating applications for marketing authorisations; monitoring the safety of medicines throughout their use in healthcare practice; and providing information to healthcare professionals, patients and the public.

The EU's General Food Law Regulation: An introduction to the founding principles and the fitness check

25-01-2017

The General Food Law Regulation (Regulation (EC) No 178/2002) was drafted following a series of food incidents in the EU in the late 1990s, including the BSE (bovine spongiform encephalopathy) outbreak and the dioxin scare. It is the act underpinning current EU food and feed legislation and defines its general principles, requirements and aims. The regulation also established the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), an independent agency tasked with providing decision makers with scientific advice ...

The General Food Law Regulation (Regulation (EC) No 178/2002) was drafted following a series of food incidents in the EU in the late 1990s, including the BSE (bovine spongiform encephalopathy) outbreak and the dioxin scare. It is the act underpinning current EU food and feed legislation and defines its general principles, requirements and aims. The regulation also established the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), an independent agency tasked with providing decision makers with scientific advice on food safety issues. Furthermore, the General Food Law Regulation lays down the main procedures for the management of emergencies and crises, including the Rapid Alert System for Food and Feed (RASFF), designed to enable a swift reaction when risks to public health are detected in the food chain. As part of its Better Regulation agenda, the European Commission is currently finalising its fitness check of the General Food Law Regulation. The review will assess the key components of this founding act. The results of the review are expected in the course of 2017.

Trade and sustainable development chapters in CETA

20-01-2017

The EU-Canada Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA), signed in October 2016, is currently at the ratification stage. This agreement, concluded between like-minded trade partners, represents the new generation of EU free trade agreements (FTAs), and contains chapters covering sustainable development. The inclusion by the EU of sustainable development chapters in FTAs concluded with its partners plays a role in ensuring that trade and investment liberalisation does not lead to a deterioration ...

The EU-Canada Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA), signed in October 2016, is currently at the ratification stage. This agreement, concluded between like-minded trade partners, represents the new generation of EU free trade agreements (FTAs), and contains chapters covering sustainable development. The inclusion by the EU of sustainable development chapters in FTAs concluded with its partners plays a role in ensuring that trade and investment liberalisation does not lead to a deterioration in environmental and labour conditions. In keeping with this trade policy practice, developed over the years, trade-related sustainability provisions, including labour and environmental considerations, are grouped in three chapters (Chapters 22 to 24) within CETA. CETA has only partially exceeded the dialogue-only approach contained in earlier EU trade agreements and has maintained the exclusion of trade and sustainable development (TSD) chapters from the scope of the state-to-state dispute settlement (SSDS) procedure. It also maintains an ad hoc two-stage dispute resolution mechanism already found in the EU-South Korea FTA. However, this mechanism does not include sanctions and focuses on mutually agreed solutions to problems. This choice by the EU is due to the still strongly cooperative nature of the TSD chapters. On CETA please refer also to the 'International Agreements in Progress' briefing on the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement with Canada by Wilhelm Schöllmann.

Synthetic biology and biodiversity

01-12-2016

Synthetic biology is a new dimension of modern biotechnology with the potential to design and manufacture living organisms, components and products. It will be on the agenda of the 13th meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP) of the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), to be held from 4 to 17 December 2016, in Cancún, Mexico. Synthetic biology could provide novel solutions for environmental and biodiversity-related issues, but could also have an adverse impact on the natural ...

Synthetic biology is a new dimension of modern biotechnology with the potential to design and manufacture living organisms, components and products. It will be on the agenda of the 13th meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP) of the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), to be held from 4 to 17 December 2016, in Cancún, Mexico. Synthetic biology could provide novel solutions for environmental and biodiversity-related issues, but could also have an adverse impact on the natural environment. The European Union is party to the CBD and the protocols relevant in the context of synthetic biology.

EU’s Pesticide Risk Assessment System: The Case of Glyphosate

15-09-2016

This report summarises the presentations and discussions of the workshop on the “EU’s pesticide risk assessment system: the case of glyphosate”, held at the European Parliament in Brussels on Tuesday, 24 May 2016. The aim of the workshop was to provide background information and advice for the Members of the ENVI Committee on the effects of glyphosate on human health. During the first part of the workshop, the EU policy context and the state of play of the issue were presented. An update on the ...

This report summarises the presentations and discussions of the workshop on the “EU’s pesticide risk assessment system: the case of glyphosate”, held at the European Parliament in Brussels on Tuesday, 24 May 2016. The aim of the workshop was to provide background information and advice for the Members of the ENVI Committee on the effects of glyphosate on human health. During the first part of the workshop, the EU policy context and the state of play of the issue were presented. An update on the environmental effects of glyphosate on biodiversity was also given. Moreover, the status of the precautionary principle, a legal principle which underpins the use of this substance, was discussed. The second part of the workshop focused on the challenges and options based on the available research and evidence. The different findings of the IARC and EFSA were presented. In particular, the different methods of the evaluation, as well as the difference between hazard assessment and risk assessment, were covered during this session. Furthermore, the ongoing ECHA’s evaluation of glyphosate, which is being carried out under the CLP Regulation, was illustrated. Finally, the perspectives from civil society and doctors were also taken into account. While the divergences during the sessions showed how polarised the issue is, it was outlined that a decision on the glyphosate matter would be crucial in order to bring to an end a situation of uncertainty. This workshop and the respective document were prepared by the Policy Department A at the request of the Committee on Environment, Public Health and Food Safety.

Externí autor

Yoline KUIPERS CAVACO, Matteo MASCOLO, Alicia McNEILL and Rachel DEMPSEY

Renewing authorisation for glyphosate

07-04-2016

A scientific controversy has recently erupted over diverging assessments of the carcinogenicity of glyphosate, one of the world's most widely used active substances in herbicides. Against this backdrop, the European Commission has proposed to renew the authorisation of glyphosate for 15 years. A motion for a resolution adopted by the ENVI Committee calling on the Commission to reconsider its proposal is expected to be tabled for plenary vote in April.

A scientific controversy has recently erupted over diverging assessments of the carcinogenicity of glyphosate, one of the world's most widely used active substances in herbicides. Against this backdrop, the European Commission has proposed to renew the authorisation of glyphosate for 15 years. A motion for a resolution adopted by the ENVI Committee calling on the Commission to reconsider its proposal is expected to be tabled for plenary vote in April.

Understanding innovation

03-02-2016

Innovation can be defined as the adoption of new products, processes, marketing or organisational approaches that create a valuable outcome in terms of financial benefit, wellbeing or efficiency, to name a few. Given its impact on smart, inclusive and sustainable growth, innovation is at the heart of European policies and one of the priorities of the Dutch Presidency of the Council of the European Union for the first six months of 2016. The innovation process occurs in an ecosystem in which companies ...

Innovation can be defined as the adoption of new products, processes, marketing or organisational approaches that create a valuable outcome in terms of financial benefit, wellbeing or efficiency, to name a few. Given its impact on smart, inclusive and sustainable growth, innovation is at the heart of European policies and one of the priorities of the Dutch Presidency of the Council of the European Union for the first six months of 2016. The innovation process occurs in an ecosystem in which companies, public research institutions, financial institutions and government bodies interact through the exchange of skills, knowledge and ideas. The model of open innovation is used to describe the flows between these actors. New insights on the innovation process and the organisation of the innovation ecosystem lead to the requirement to design a new policy mix that includes, above all, policies in support of research and development to foster innovation; policies for education and training to provide the workforce with the relevant skills; and policies to promote a sound business environment and to encourage engagement in innovation and entrepreneurship. In addition to supporting the more technical aspects of the innovation process and ecosystem, these policies also need to spur the development of a culture of innovation which involves creative thinking, collaboration, initiative, openness, a positive approach to failure, and high trust within organisations and society as a whole. Despite its positive aspects, innovation is capable of inducing potential long-term negative social, environmental or economic outcomes. Approaches involving responsible ways of undertaking research and innovation, as well applying the precautionary principle, aim to address these shortcomings.

The precautionary principle: Definitions, applications and governance

09-12-2015

The precautionary principle enables decision-makers to adopt precautionary measures when scientific evidence about an environmental or human health hazard is uncertain and the stakes are high. It first emerged during the 1970s and has since been enshrined in a number of international treaties on the environment, in the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union and the national legislation of certain Member States. The precautionary principle divides opinions. To some, it is unscientific and ...

The precautionary principle enables decision-makers to adopt precautionary measures when scientific evidence about an environmental or human health hazard is uncertain and the stakes are high. It first emerged during the 1970s and has since been enshrined in a number of international treaties on the environment, in the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union and the national legislation of certain Member States. The precautionary principle divides opinions. To some, it is unscientific and an obstacle to progress. To others, it is an approach that protects human health and the environment. Different stakeholders, experts and jurisdictions apply different definitions of the principle, mainly depending on the degree of scientific uncertainty required for the authorities to take action. Although most experts agree that the precautionary principle does not call for specific measures (such as a ban or reversal of the burden of proof), opinions are divided on the method for determining when to apply precautionary measures. The application of the precautionary principle presents many opportunities as well as challenges. The precautionary principle is closely linked to governance. This has three aspects: risk governance (risk assessment, management and communication), science-policy interfaces and the link between precaution and innovation.

Chystané akce

07-09-2021
EPRS online policy roundtable: What is the future of (European) sovereignty?
Další akce -
EPRS
08-09-2021
EPRS online policy roundtable: Statistics, Data and Trust: Why figures matter [...]
Další akce -
EPRS
21-09-2021
EPRS online Book Talk with David Harley: Matters of Record: Inside European Politics
Další akce -
EPRS

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