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Commission withdrawal proposal for new EU seed law

Presenting its much awaited policy priorities for 2015, the Commission also announced that it withdraws its proposal for a new EU seed law. The announcement came together with a larger package of legislative proposals that are axed as part of the Juncker promise of less and better regulation and a politically more ‘responsive’ Commission.

The new EU Regulation on Plant Reproductive Material was supposed to modernize and replace the current rules, consisting of more than a dozen Directives, Regulations and further related acts, and formed part of the ‘Smarter Rules for Safer Foods’ package presented to Council and Parliament mid-2013.

In its justification, the Commission simply stated that it sees no political agreement on the approach between Parliament and Council and consequently withdraws its proposal.

“The Commission has basically cleared its desk of many proposals that it considered too controversial or unpopular. This is line with the general, more political approach of the Juncker Commission.” Garlich v. Essen, Secretary General of ESA commented on the decision.

The European seed sector itself had criticized a number of key elements of the original proposal, but together with the proposals from Member States, MEPs and stakeholders had seen a base for further discussion.

Von Essen, therefore, sees the Commission’s decision as a politically motivated one: “This is part of an overall political approach taken by this new Commission. We now continue to apply the established provisions of the current European and national rules which assure that Europe’s breeders can bring new and improved varieties to the Common Market that match both regulatory requirements as well as the expectations of Europe’s farmers and vegetable growers.”

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