The revision of the European Union's (EU) political and legal framework for organic production involves an impact assessment study. To make sure that all the possible economic, social and environmental impacts are considered, the relevant Commission services were all invited to take part in the process. In order to carry out this impact assessment an Inter-service Steering Group (ISSG) made up of the services concerned has been established.
The European Commission organised three hearings of experts in order to analyse the situation of the sector:
- The first hearing was on "The EU organic market - Internal market and standards" and took place on 27 and 28 September 2012.
- The second hearing covered issues linked to "The European Union's organic production - Controls and enforcement" (25 and 26 October 2012)
- the third one was on "International trade in organic products and global issues" (20 and 21 November 2012).
The European Commission conducted a public consultation for the review of the European policy on organic agriculture from 15 January until 10 April 2013. The public and stakeholders were consulted through an on-line questionnaire. The participation was very large! 44 846 replies to the questionnaire were received and 1 450 free contributions were sent by e-mail from citizens and various stakeholders.
The stakeholders of the organic sector have been equally consulted at several occasions when they participated in the meetings of the Advisory Group on Organic Farming (AGOF).
The results of the public consultation, together with the inputs from the stakeholders and the exchanges with the experts during the hearings, are feeding the on-going review of the political and legal framework for organic agriculture in Europe, with an overall strategy to be put forward in early 2014.