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CAP Amending Regulation (CMO): Amending regulations on the CMO for agricultural products, quality schemes and measures for remote regions

10-10-2019

On 1 July 2018, as part of the work on the EU's 2021-2027 multiannual financial framework, the European Commission proposed a package of three regulations with the aim of reshaping and modernising the common agricultural policy (CAP). One of these proposals, the Amending Regulation, introduces changes to rules governing the common market organisation (CMO) in agricultural products (including the rules on wine), the EU quality schemes (geographical indications) and the support measures for remote ...

On 1 July 2018, as part of the work on the EU's 2021-2027 multiannual financial framework, the European Commission proposed a package of three regulations with the aim of reshaping and modernising the common agricultural policy (CAP). One of these proposals, the Amending Regulation, introduces changes to rules governing the common market organisation (CMO) in agricultural products (including the rules on wine), the EU quality schemes (geographical indications) and the support measures for remote regions. The aim is to equip agricultural markets and support measures to face new challenges, update provisions, simplify procedures and ensure consistency with other regulations on the future CAP.

New plant-breeding techniques: Applicability of EU GMO rules

10-10-2019

New plant genetic modification techniques, referred to as 'gene editing' or 'genome editing', have evolved rapidly in recent years, allowing much faster and more precise results than conventional plant-breeding techniques. They are seen as a promising innovative field for the agri-food industry, offering great technical potential. There is, however, considerable debate as to how these new techniques should be regulated, and whether some or all of them should fall within the scope of EU legislation ...

New plant genetic modification techniques, referred to as 'gene editing' or 'genome editing', have evolved rapidly in recent years, allowing much faster and more precise results than conventional plant-breeding techniques. They are seen as a promising innovative field for the agri-food industry, offering great technical potential. There is, however, considerable debate as to how these new techniques should be regulated, and whether some or all of them should fall within the scope of EU legislation on genetically modified organisms (GMOs). Those who take the view that the new techniques should be exempt from GMO legislation generally argue that the end product is very similar to products generated using conventional breeding techniques, or that similar changes could also occur naturally. Those who consider that the new techniques should fall within the scope of GMO legislation contend that the processes used mean that plants bred using the new techniques are in fact genetically modified. In July 2018, the European Court of Justice gave a judgment ruling that genome-edited organisms fall under the scope of European GMO legislation. While welcomed by some, the judgment has also sparked criticism and calls for the new European Commission to amend EU GMO legislation. This is an updated edition of a 2016 Briefing.

Hearings of the Commissioners-designate: Janusz Wojciechowski - Agriculture

26-09-2019

This briefing is one in a set looking at the Commissioners-designate and their portfolios as put forward by Commission President-elect Ursula von der Leyen. Each candidate faces a three-hour public hearing, organised by one or more parliamentary committees. After that process, those committees will judge the candidates' suitability for the role based on 'their general competence, European commitment and personal independence', as well as their 'knowledge of their prospective portfolio and their communication ...

This briefing is one in a set looking at the Commissioners-designate and their portfolios as put forward by Commission President-elect Ursula von der Leyen. Each candidate faces a three-hour public hearing, organised by one or more parliamentary committees. After that process, those committees will judge the candidates' suitability for the role based on 'their general competence, European commitment and personal independence', as well as their 'knowledge of their prospective portfolio and their communication skills'. At the end of the hearings process, Parliament votes on the proposed Commission as a bloc, and under the Treaties may only reject the entire College of Commissioners, rather than individual candidates. The Briefing provides an overview of key issues in the portfolio areas, as well as Parliament's activity in the last term in that field. It also includes a brief introduction to the candidate.

The EU cereals sector: Main features, challenges and prospects

05-09-2019

Food and agriculture systems are central to the well-being of humanity. When considering food security, these systems are needed not just to provide safe, healthy food but also livelihoods and incomes to a large number of farmers. These same systems are integral to rural and economic development. Core to the food security objective is the production of cereals across the globe to meet the increasing demands for food, animal feed and biofuels. In the EU, the cereals sector accounted for approximately ...

Food and agriculture systems are central to the well-being of humanity. When considering food security, these systems are needed not just to provide safe, healthy food but also livelihoods and incomes to a large number of farmers. These same systems are integral to rural and economic development. Core to the food security objective is the production of cereals across the globe to meet the increasing demands for food, animal feed and biofuels. In the EU, the cereals sector accounted for approximately 11 % of the total output value of agricultural production in 2016, third in line after the vegetable/horticultural and the dairy sectors. It is an important sector for many Member States, particularly the northern ones, where it is well developed. All Member States produce some combination of cereal crops. The EU cereals sector is facing challenges not only structurally but also financially and climatically. Developments in the policy framework as evidenced by the new common agricultural policy (CAP) proposals as well as advances in scientific and technological spheres, such as plant breeding and digitalisation, point the way to a more efficient sector. Yet, the sectoral challenges are many. The process of CAP reform for the post-2020 period promising a new delivery model and strategic plans is a departure from the known. World agricultural markets face new uncertainties that, on the supply side, include regulatory responses to new plant breeding techniques and responses to the increasing likelihood of extreme climatic events. The cereals sector is one operating in a farming environment trying to combat the loss of plant protection products previously relied upon, and in a world coming to terms with how to make the Paris Agreement a reality. These challenges will all influence the profitability and survivability of the sector.

CAP strategic planning: Operational perspectives

04-09-2019

For the first time in the history of the common agricultural policy (CAP), it is proposed that interventions available under the CAP's Pillar I (namely agricultural income and market support) and Pillar II (rural development) will be combined in one strategic plan for all CAP expenditure. This paper aims to provide a better understanding and insight into the European Commission's proposal for this new delivery model for the CAP after 2020. Under the Commission's proposal, greater flexibility would ...

For the first time in the history of the common agricultural policy (CAP), it is proposed that interventions available under the CAP's Pillar I (namely agricultural income and market support) and Pillar II (rural development) will be combined in one strategic plan for all CAP expenditure. This paper aims to provide a better understanding and insight into the European Commission's proposal for this new delivery model for the CAP after 2020. Under the Commission's proposal, greater flexibility would be given to Member States to decide on how best to meet general and specific objectives of the CAP. They would be responsible for drawing up a CAP strategic plan, in which they will set targets to be achieved over the subsequent programming period. Though the new delivery model would provide an opportunity for Member States to tailor the instruments and measures of the CAP to address their specific needs, the approach places significant onus on the strategic-planning capacities of Member State administrations. This paper examines a number of operational issues to help inform the ongoing legislative process.

What if we didn't need cows for our beef?

12-07-2019

With the help of cells from a single cow, scientists can produce 175 million hamburgers. What if we didn’t need cows for our beef? Technologies for producing cultured meat and dairy products will help feeding the world in a sustainable way. What if we could produce meat without farming? New technology within reach to produce meat with a very low eco-footprint

With the help of cells from a single cow, scientists can produce 175 million hamburgers. What if we didn’t need cows for our beef? Technologies for producing cultured meat and dairy products will help feeding the world in a sustainable way. What if we could produce meat without farming? New technology within reach to produce meat with a very low eco-footprint

EU food quality scheme

08-07-2019

The quality of European agricultural products often relies on their geographical origins, the traditional recipes used to make them, and the methods used in production and processing. These human and geographical factors are intrinsic to making a product unique. In 1992, the EU developed a quality scheme for foodstuffs, including the designation of their origin. The objectives of the EU quality scheme are to provide consumers with clear information, allowing them to make a more informed choice, and ...

The quality of European agricultural products often relies on their geographical origins, the traditional recipes used to make them, and the methods used in production and processing. These human and geographical factors are intrinsic to making a product unique. In 1992, the EU developed a quality scheme for foodstuffs, including the designation of their origin. The objectives of the EU quality scheme are to provide consumers with clear information, allowing them to make a more informed choice, and to indicate the added value of a given product. The protection of European local and gastronomic traditions, especially against imitation in third countries, is another important aim of the regulations. Consequently, the EU's engagement in protecting its registered products on the global market is a contentious issue in the negotiation of many trade agreements.

EU policies – Delivering for citizens: Agriculture

28-06-2019

The common agricultural policy (CAP) is one of the oldest common policies in the EU. Its significance is reflected in the proportion of the EU's budget devoted to it, representing approximately 40 % of the total. Developed at a time when Europe was unable to meet most of its own food needs, it was necessary to encourage farmers to produce food by means of guaranteed prices. The policy has undergone regular reform and has evolved over the years. These reforms have sought to improve the competitiveness ...

The common agricultural policy (CAP) is one of the oldest common policies in the EU. Its significance is reflected in the proportion of the EU's budget devoted to it, representing approximately 40 % of the total. Developed at a time when Europe was unable to meet most of its own food needs, it was necessary to encourage farmers to produce food by means of guaranteed prices. The policy has undergone regular reform and has evolved over the years. These reforms have sought to improve the competitiveness of the agricultural sector, promote rural development and address new challenges in areas such as the environment and climate change. Evidence from a series of Eurobarometer surveys indicates that EU citizens have a high level of awareness of this policy area. There is a recognition that the policy is succeeding in meeting citizens' expectations in terms of delivering healthy high-quality food as well as contributing to the protection of the environment. When it comes to agriculture, Parliament's eighth term focused on taking forward not only implementation of the last CAP reform in 2013 but also a series of significant legislative achievements. The areas covered include, for example, unfair trading practices, animal health, plant health and the organic sector, as well as a range of policy-related simplification measures. On the non-legislative front, Parliament pursued its scrutiny role rigorously. Other substantial issues it considered during the last legislature included the future policy direction of the CAP for the post-2020 period, establishing its position on the next multiannual financial framework (MFF), including the overall budgetary allocation for the future CAP and the associated legislative framework. In the case of the latter, this has not been the subject of a plenary vote. This is an update of an earlier briefing issued in advance of the 2019 European elections.

What if policy anticipated advances in science and technology?

26-06-2019

What if blockchain revolutionised voting? What if your emotions were tracked to spy on you? And what if we genetically engineered an entire species? Science and policy are intricately connected. Via monthly 'What if' publications, the Scientific Foresight Unit (STOA; part of the European Parliamentary Research Service) draws Members of the European Parliament's attention to new scientific and technological developments relevant for policy-making. The unit also provides administrative support to the ...

What if blockchain revolutionised voting? What if your emotions were tracked to spy on you? And what if we genetically engineered an entire species? Science and policy are intricately connected. Via monthly 'What if' publications, the Scientific Foresight Unit (STOA; part of the European Parliamentary Research Service) draws Members of the European Parliament's attention to new scientific and technological developments relevant for policy-making. The unit also provides administrative support to the Panel for the Future of Science and Technology (STOA), which brings together 25 Members from nine different parliamentary committees who share a strong interest in science and technology in the context of policy-making.

EU fertilising products

26-06-2019

Fertilising products are used to improve plant growth, mainly in agriculture, enabling higher crop yields. However, they are associated with some challenges as regards security of supply, the environment and health. Although the 2003 Fertilisers Regulation, which aimed at ensuring an internal market in fertilisers, has been effective, it mainly addresses mineral fertilisers and deters the introduction of new types of fertilisers. In March 2016, the Commission put forward a legislative proposal on ...

Fertilising products are used to improve plant growth, mainly in agriculture, enabling higher crop yields. However, they are associated with some challenges as regards security of supply, the environment and health. Although the 2003 Fertilisers Regulation, which aimed at ensuring an internal market in fertilisers, has been effective, it mainly addresses mineral fertilisers and deters the introduction of new types of fertilisers. In March 2016, the Commission put forward a legislative proposal on fertilising products, as announced in the circular economy action plan. The proposal modernises the conformity assessment and market surveillance in line with the ‘new legislative framework’ for product legislation, covers a wider range of fertilising products (including those manufactured from secondary raw materials), and sets limits for the presence of heavy metals and contaminants in fertilising products. After completion of the legislative procedure, the final act was signed on 5 June 2019. The regulation will apply in full from 16 July 2022. Fifth edition of a briefing originally drafted by Didier Bourguignon. The ‘EU Legislation in Progress’ briefings are updated at key stages throughout the legislative procedure. Please note this document has been designed for on-line viewing.

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