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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 ...

Data flows- Future Scenarios

Poglobljena analiza 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.

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 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 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 ...

Synthetic biology and biodiversity

Na kratko 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 ...

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 ...

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

Briefing 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 ...

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 ...