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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.

New rules for managing the EU external fishing fleet

15-02-2018

The European Parliament and the Council have adopted a new Regulation on the sustainable management of external fishing fleets, which replaces the 'Fishing Authorisations Regulation' 1006/2008, and covers all EU vessels fishing outside EU waters, as well as third-country vessels fishing in EU waters. The regulation revised the system of issuing and managing fishing authorisations, so as to improve monitoring and transparency of the EU external fishing fleet. It extended the scope of the authorisation ...

The European Parliament and the Council have adopted a new Regulation on the sustainable management of external fishing fleets, which replaces the 'Fishing Authorisations Regulation' 1006/2008, and covers all EU vessels fishing outside EU waters, as well as third-country vessels fishing in EU waters. The regulation revised the system of issuing and managing fishing authorisations, so as to improve monitoring and transparency of the EU external fishing fleet. It extended the scope of the authorisation system to include practices such as private agreements between EU companies and third countries, and abusive reflagging operations. Member States are required to authorise fishing vessels using common eligibility criteria, complemented by specific conditions depending on the nature of the authorisation. Part of the electronic fishing authorisations register, showing who fishes for what and where, will for the first time be publicly accessible. Fifth edition. The ‘EU Legislation in Progress’ briefings are updated at key stages throughout the legislative procedure. To view earlier editions of this briefing, please see: PE 608.651, July 2017.

New rules for managing the EU external fishing fleet

19-07-2017

Following trilogue negotiations, the Parliament is to be asked to approve in plenary a revised system of issuing and managing fishing authorisations, intended to improve monitoring and transparency of the EU external fishing fleet. The new legislation will replace the current 'Fishing Authorisations Regulation' 1006/2008, and will cover all EU vessels fishing outside EU waters, as well as third-country vessels fishing in EU waters. The current scope of the authorisation system would be extended to ...

Following trilogue negotiations, the Parliament is to be asked to approve in plenary a revised system of issuing and managing fishing authorisations, intended to improve monitoring and transparency of the EU external fishing fleet. The new legislation will replace the current 'Fishing Authorisations Regulation' 1006/2008, and will cover all EU vessels fishing outside EU waters, as well as third-country vessels fishing in EU waters. The current scope of the authorisation system would be extended to include practices poorly monitored so far, such as private agreements between EU companies and third countries and abusive reflagging operations. Member States would authorise fishing vessels using common eligibility criteria, complemented by specific conditions depending on the nature of the authorisation. Part of the electronic fishing authorisations register, showing who fishes what and where, would for the first time be publicly accessible. Fourth edition. The ‘EU Legislation in Progress’ briefings are updated at key stages throughout the legislative procedure. To view earlier editions of this briefing, please see: PE 595.886, January 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.

New rules for managing the EU external fishing fleet

18-01-2017

In February 2017, the Parliament is due to vote in plenary on a Commission proposal for a revised system of issuing and managing fishing authorisations, intended to improve monitoring and transparency of the EU external fishing fleet. The proposal, replacing the current 'Fishing Authorisations Regulation' 1006/2008, applies to all EU vessels fishing outside EU waters, and to third-country vessels fishing in EU waters. The current scope of the authorisation system would be extended to include practices ...

In February 2017, the Parliament is due to vote in plenary on a Commission proposal for a revised system of issuing and managing fishing authorisations, intended to improve monitoring and transparency of the EU external fishing fleet. The proposal, replacing the current 'Fishing Authorisations Regulation' 1006/2008, applies to all EU vessels fishing outside EU waters, and to third-country vessels fishing in EU waters. The current scope of the authorisation system would be extended to include practices poorly monitored so far, such as private agreements between EU companies and third countries and abusive reflagging operations. Member States would authorise fishing vessels using common eligibility criteria, complemented by specific conditions depending on the nature of the authorisation. Part of the electronic fishing authorisations register, showing who fishes what and where, would for the first time be publicly accessible. Third edition. The ‘EU Legislation in Progress’ briefings are updated at key stages throughout the legislative procedure. To view earlier editions of this briefing, please see: PE 589.834, October 2016. "A more recent edition of this document is available. Find it by searching by the document title at this address: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/thinktank/en/home.html"

Control of the acquisition and possession of weapons

25-05-2016

In the aftermath of the Paris terrorist attacks, in November 2015 the European Commission presented a package of measures aiming to tighten control on the acquisition and possession of firearms in the European Union, improve traceability of legally held firearms and enhance cooperation between Member States, as well as ensure that deactivated firearms are rendered inoperable. The proposal to amend the current 'Firearms Directive' (Directive 91/477/EEC) was part of this package. It aims to ban some ...

In the aftermath of the Paris terrorist attacks, in November 2015 the European Commission presented a package of measures aiming to tighten control on the acquisition and possession of firearms in the European Union, improve traceability of legally held firearms and enhance cooperation between Member States, as well as ensure that deactivated firearms are rendered inoperable. The proposal to amend the current 'Firearms Directive' (Directive 91/477/EEC) was part of this package. It aims to ban some semi-automatic firearms for civilian use, as well as to include some previously excluded actors (collectors and brokers) and blank-firing weapons within the scope of the Directive. Stakeholders commented particularly on the proposed ban on some semi-automatic firearms and the obligation for collectors to deactivate firearms. The Justice and Home Affairs Council held a debate on the file in March 2016. Parliament's Market and Consumer Protection (IMCO) Committee is expected to adopt its report in June 2016. A more recent edition of this document is available. Find it by searching by the document title at this address: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/thinktank/en/home.html

Food Contact Materials - Regulation (EC) 1935/2004

10-05-2016

Food contact materials (FCMs) are widely used in everyday life in the form of food packaging, kitchen utensils, tableware, etc. When put in contact with food, the different materials may behave differently and transfer their constituents to the food. Thus, if ingested in large quantities, FCM chemicals might endanger human health, or change the food itself. Therefore, food contact materials are subject to legally binding rules at EU level, currently laid down in Regulation (EC) No 1935/2004 which ...

Food contact materials (FCMs) are widely used in everyday life in the form of food packaging, kitchen utensils, tableware, etc. When put in contact with food, the different materials may behave differently and transfer their constituents to the food. Thus, if ingested in large quantities, FCM chemicals might endanger human health, or change the food itself. Therefore, food contact materials are subject to legally binding rules at EU level, currently laid down in Regulation (EC) No 1935/2004 which aims at ensuring FCM safety but also the effective functioning of the internal market in FCM goods. The regulation sets up a general safety requirement applicable to all possible food contact materials and articles, and envisages a possibility for the adoption of specific safety requirements (i.e. further harmonisation at EU level) for seventeen FCMs listed in Annex I to Regulation (EC) No 1935/2004. So far, specific safety requirements have been adopted only for four FCMs: plastics (including recycled plastics), ceramics, regenerated cellulose and so-called active and intelligent materials. Where specific requirements have not been adopted at EU level, Member States could adopt such measures at national level, which is the case for several widely used FCMs, such as: paper & board, metals & alloys, glass, coatings, silicones, rubbers, printing inks etc. However, as reported by the majority of stakeholders participating in this survey, the lack of specific measures at EU level for some food contact materials/articles negatively impacts the functioning of the internal market for the relevant material/article and its food safety. Stakeholders - across businesses, consumers, environmental and health NGOs, researchers, as well as Member States' competent authorities - are in favour of specific measures at EU level for the FCMs that are not yet harmonised at EU level.

Animal health law: Rules on transmissible animal diseases

14-03-2016

Transmissible animal diseases can have a significant impact on animal and public health and on the economy. Current EU legislation in the field developed over decades and consists of a large number of acts. In an evaluation initiated by the Commission, the legislation was assessed as generally well-functioning and effective, but also as complex and lacking an overarching strategy. The rules, often adopted in response to crises, focus on combating diseases rather than on prevention. The Commission ...

Transmissible animal diseases can have a significant impact on animal and public health and on the economy. Current EU legislation in the field developed over decades and consists of a large number of acts. In an evaluation initiated by the Commission, the legislation was assessed as generally well-functioning and effective, but also as complex and lacking an overarching strategy. The rules, often adopted in response to crises, focus on combating diseases rather than on prevention. The Commission has proposed to create a single regulatory framework for rules related to the control of transmissible animal diseases. Most current provisions would be adapted, aligned and made more coherent. The proposed regulation would introduce prioritisation and categorisation of diseases, clarify responsibilities and place stronger focus on disease prevention. Most of the existing acts would be repealed. After trilogues in view of an early second reading agreement, Parliament approved the agreed text during its plenary session on 8 March 2016. This briefing updates an earlier edition, of 23 February 2016 – PE 577.977.

Animal health law: Rules on transmissible animal diseases

23-02-2016

Transmissible animal diseases can have a significant impact on animal and public health and on the economy. Current EU legislation in the field developed over decades and consists of a large number of acts. In an evaluation initiated by the Commission, the legislation was assessed as generally well-functioning and effective, but also as complex and lacking an overarching strategy. The rules, often adopted in response to crises, focus on combating diseases rather than on prevention. The Commission ...

Transmissible animal diseases can have a significant impact on animal and public health and on the economy. Current EU legislation in the field developed over decades and consists of a large number of acts. In an evaluation initiated by the Commission, the legislation was assessed as generally well-functioning and effective, but also as complex and lacking an overarching strategy. The rules, often adopted in response to crises, focus on combating diseases rather than on prevention. The Commission has proposed to create a single regulatory framework for rules related to the control of transmissible animal diseases. Most current provisions would be adapted, aligned and made more coherent. The proposed regulation would introduce prioritisation and categorisation of diseases, clarify responsibilities and place stronger focus on disease prevention. Most of the existing acts would be repealed. After trilogues in view of an early second reading agreement, Parliament is expected to vote in plenary to confirm the agreed text in March 2016. A more recent edition of this document is available. Find it by searching by the document title at this address: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/thinktank/en/home.html

Medical devices and in vitro diagnostic medical devices

07-12-2015

Medical devices and in vitro diagnostic medical devices cover a wide array of products, from sticking plasters, to heart valves, to state-of-the-art analytical laboratory equipment, with over 500 000 devices on the EU market. The EU legal framework for such devices was harmonised in the 1990s. The European Commission presented a pair of proposals for regulations in September 2012, to update the framework. Following Parliament's first reading in April 2014, the Council agreed its position in October ...

Medical devices and in vitro diagnostic medical devices cover a wide array of products, from sticking plasters, to heart valves, to state-of-the-art analytical laboratory equipment, with over 500 000 devices on the EU market. The EU legal framework for such devices was harmonised in the 1990s. The European Commission presented a pair of proposals for regulations in September 2012, to update the framework. Following Parliament's first reading in April 2014, the Council agreed its position in October 2015. Interinstitutional negotiations are under way, with trilogue meetings having taken place on 13 and 28 October, on 11 and 28 November, and on 3 December. Stakeholders generally welcome the progress made, with industry asking for the elimination of burdensome requirements, and patient and consumer associations stressing the need for information. A more recent edition of this document is available. Find it by searching by the document title at this address: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/thinktank/en/home.html

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