15

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Revision of the Drinking Water Directive

15-04-2019

On 1 February 2018, the European Commission published a proposal for a recast of the Directive on the quality of water intended for human consumption (the Drinking Water Directive). The proposal responds to the European Citizens' Initiative, Right2Water, and builds on a fitness check which concluded that the 20-year old directive is fit for purpose, but needs updating. The main elements of the proposal consist of updating the water quality standards, introducing a risk-based approach to the monitoring ...

On 1 February 2018, the European Commission published a proposal for a recast of the Directive on the quality of water intended for human consumption (the Drinking Water Directive). The proposal responds to the European Citizens' Initiative, Right2Water, and builds on a fitness check which concluded that the 20-year old directive is fit for purpose, but needs updating. The main elements of the proposal consist of updating the water quality standards, introducing a risk-based approach to the monitoring of water, improving and streamlining the information provided to consumers, harmonising the standards for products in contact with drinking water, and imposing obligations to improve access to water. In the European Parliament, the Committee on Environment, Public Health and Food Safety (ENVI) adopted its report on 10 September 2018. A plenary vote on the amendments, and on opening interinstitutional negotiations, took place on 23 October 2018. Although the Council reached a general approach on 5 March 2019, the Parliament concluded its first reading in plenary on 28 March 2019. Trilogue negotiations in view of reaching an early-second reading agreement could thus begin in the new parliamentary term.

Reconsidering the General Food Law

26-02-2019

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 at the third trilogue meeting on 11 February 2019, and was endorsed in the ENVI committee on 20 February. The text will be the subject of a vote to adopt it in plenary in the coming weeks. Second edition. The 'EU Legislation in Progress' briefings are updated at key stages throughout the legislative procedure.

Revision of the drinking water directive

27-03-2018

This note seeks to provide an initial analysis of the strengths and weaknesses of the European Commission's impact assessment (IA) accompanying the above proposal, submitted on 1 February 2018 and referred to the European Parliament's Committee on Environment, Public Health and Food Safety (ENVI).

This note seeks to provide an initial analysis of the strengths and weaknesses of the European Commission's impact assessment (IA) accompanying the above proposal, submitted on 1 February 2018 and referred to the European Parliament's Committee on Environment, Public Health and Food Safety (ENVI).

Drinking Water Directive

24-07-2017

The Drinking Water Directive (DWD) sets quality standards for drinking water and requires that Member States ensure monitoring and compliance with these standards. By and large, it has been successful, best exemplified by the high, and increasing, levels of compliance across the European Union (EU) with the microbiological, chemical and indicator parameters and values set in the DWD. Notwithstanding this overall success, evidence collected over the past years, most notably through evaluation as well ...

The Drinking Water Directive (DWD) sets quality standards for drinking water and requires that Member States ensure monitoring and compliance with these standards. By and large, it has been successful, best exemplified by the high, and increasing, levels of compliance across the European Union (EU) with the microbiological, chemical and indicator parameters and values set in the DWD. Notwithstanding this overall success, evidence collected over the past years, most notably through evaluation as well as public and stakeholder consultation, confirm the existence of challenges. These include an outdated list of parameters and parametric values; over-reliance on compliance testing at the end of the water supply chain (at the tap) and related lack of a risk-based approach to managing water quality; problems related to water quality in small water supplies; lack of connection to public water networks for many citizens; problems related to water contact materials; as well as a lack of information for citizens. Although European Commission Directive 2015/1787 recently introduced elements of a risk-based approach, the current text of the directive does not appear to integrate the World Health Organization guidelines on drinking water quality sufficiently, both in terms of parameters and parametric values (which have not been updated in the DWD since 1998), as well as the lack of a comprehensive risk-based approach in water quality management that would systematically address potential risks throughout the water supply chain. The European Commission is expected to make a proposal to amend the directive in late 2017.

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.

Human health implications of organic food and organic agriculture

20-12-2016

This study reviews existing scientific evidence regarding the impact of organic food on human health from an EU perspective, with a focus on public health. The development of environmentally sustainable and healthy food systems is an international priority. The study examines how organic food and organic agriculture can contribute to this in relation to public health. Human and animal studies directly addressing the health effects of organic food are reviewed. Furthermore, evidence linking principles ...

This study reviews existing scientific evidence regarding the impact of organic food on human health from an EU perspective, with a focus on public health. The development of environmentally sustainable and healthy food systems is an international priority. The study examines how organic food and organic agriculture can contribute to this in relation to public health. Human and animal studies directly addressing the health effects of organic food are reviewed. Furthermore, evidence linking principles and rules of organic production to human health effects is discussed.

EYE 2016 - Hunger games

28-04-2016

Fighting hunger, poverty and disease in the world is far from a utopian game. How can we empower people to create their own sustainable future? Can we bring hunger down in a generation? What does it take to adequately feed the 9 billion people expected to live on our planet in 2050 without destroying the earth? This note has been prepared for the European Youth Event, taking place in Strasbourg in May 2016. Please click here for the full publication in PDF format

Fighting hunger, poverty and disease in the world is far from a utopian game. How can we empower people to create their own sustainable future? Can we bring hunger down in a generation? What does it take to adequately feed the 9 billion people expected to live on our planet in 2050 without destroying the earth? This note has been prepared for the European Youth Event, taking place in Strasbourg in May 2016. Please click here for the full publication in PDF format

Nuevo programa de fomento del consumo de fruta y leche en las escuelas

22-05-2015

Durante la sesión plenaria del 27 de mayo de 2015, se pedirá a los diputados que voten sobre un informe elaborado por la Comisión Agricultura y Desarrollo Rural, que modifica la propuesta legislativa de la Comisión Europea sobre un nuevo programa único de fomento del consumo de fruta y leche en las escuelas. La propuesta tiene por objeto fusionar dos programas separados existentes, uno para la distribución de leche, y el otro, para la distribución de fruta y hortalizas en las escuelas. No obstante ...

Durante la sesión plenaria del 27 de mayo de 2015, se pedirá a los diputados que voten sobre un informe elaborado por la Comisión Agricultura y Desarrollo Rural, que modifica la propuesta legislativa de la Comisión Europea sobre un nuevo programa único de fomento del consumo de fruta y leche en las escuelas. La propuesta tiene por objeto fusionar dos programas separados existentes, uno para la distribución de leche, y el otro, para la distribución de fruta y hortalizas en las escuelas. No obstante, el plan sigue siendo incierto, dado que la Comisión lo ha paralizado a la espera de una evaluación de programas anteriores. Existe asimismo desacuerdo en cuanto al fundamento jurídico del proyecto de reglamento entre el Consejo, por una parte, y la Comisión y el Parlamento, por la otra.

Organic food: Helping EU consumers make an informed choice

19-05-2015

Organic production is an overall system of farm management and food production that aims at sustainable agriculture, high-quality products and the use of processes that do not harm the environment, or human, plant or animal health and welfare. Prompted mainly by environmental concerns and in spite of the higher price of organic products, EU consumers spent over €22 billion in 2013, helping the EU organic market grow by nearly 6%. To help them make an informed choice, the European Commission introduced ...

Organic production is an overall system of farm management and food production that aims at sustainable agriculture, high-quality products and the use of processes that do not harm the environment, or human, plant or animal health and welfare. Prompted mainly by environmental concerns and in spite of the higher price of organic products, EU consumers spent over €22 billion in 2013, helping the EU organic market grow by nearly 6%. To help them make an informed choice, the European Commission introduced a specific EU organic logo in 2010, complementing earlier legislation setting up an extensive framework of rules and requirements on the production, processing, handling and certification of organic foods. While demand is mainly concentrated in North America and Europe, over three quarters of the nearly 2 million organic producers worldwide are in Asia, Africa, and Latin America. The EU continues to be a forerunner in organic agriculture thanks to strong consumer demand, strict legal protection and support for organic production. Around one eighth of the world's organic producers – 260 000 – are situated in the EU, and in 2013 they cultivated over 10 million hectares of land. Within the EU organic market Germany has the largest share (€7.6 billion) followed by France (€4.4 billion), the United Kingdom (€2.1 billion), and Italy (€2 billion). While the sustainable nature of organic farming is generally conceded, its health and nutritional benefits are still widely debated. The use of (organic) pesticides and the possible presence of residues in organically grown crops also attract a lot of attention. Meanwhile, the increasing competition for shoppers and the recent market entry of retail discounters such as Aldi, make analysts fear a price war seriously affecting farmers and food manufacturers. The recent growth in organic farming has also given rise to the so-called 'conventionalisation hypothesis', according to which some big organic farms are increasingly functioning as modified models of conventional farms.

Workshop ‘Nutrition, Diet, Impact on Health and EU’s role’ Brussels, 10 November 2010 - Consolidated texts

25-11-2010

This report summarises the presentations and discussions at a Workshop on ‘Nutrition, Diet, Impact on Health and EU’s role’ held at the European Parliament in Brussels on Wednesday 10 November 2010. The aim of the workshop was to exchange views with experts about the latest scientific and innovative approaches and best practices of nutritional advice for better health and disease prevention. The meeting also aimed at addressing the role of EU policies and institutions in promoting healthy nutritional ...

This report summarises the presentations and discussions at a Workshop on ‘Nutrition, Diet, Impact on Health and EU’s role’ held at the European Parliament in Brussels on Wednesday 10 November 2010. The aim of the workshop was to exchange views with experts about the latest scientific and innovative approaches and best practices of nutritional advice for better health and disease prevention. The meeting also aimed at addressing the role of EU policies and institutions in promoting healthy nutritional habits.

Autor externo

Ms. Marida Di Girolamo, Ms. Nienke van der Burgt Milieu Ltd Brussels, Belgium

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