...the EU has banned animal testing for making cosmetics and laid down rules for labelling all consumer goods so you always know exactly what you are buying? As a consumer, you are protected by some basic laws that apply no matter what EU country you are in. For example, EU rules say that all ingredients have to be listed on the label on the products you buy. In 2003 European leaders decided to stop animal testing for cosmetics.
To ensure our food is safe to eat wherever it comes from, the EU has a common set of strict standards. Dorota is a lawyer checking compliance with these standards.
Dorota was born in Warsaw, Poland, in 1969. At the Commission, she is a member of the team monitoring compliance with EU food safety rules.
Dorota came to the Commission in 2003 with qualifications which included study at the College of Europe’s Polish campus at Natolin, and worked during 7 years in the Polish Ministry of European Affairs. Immediately before moving to Brussels with her Italian husband, met while studying in Milan, her job was to adapt Polish food law to EU membership requirements.
Now Dorota works in the Legal Affairs unit in the Directorate General responsible for consumer affairs, public health, food safety and animal welfare. Her job is to check that food safety rules adopted by ministers in the Council of the EU are incorporated into national food law on time and correctly applied. The Commission can take Member States to court if they breach these rules.
‘Having EU-wide rules and knowing that all our food meets certain criteria is important. For example, you can’t have one level for permitted pesticide residues in one country, a second in another and a third for imports. Because of the single market, it is important that we all work together. From a personal point of view, I find it very satisfying to be working for the whole of the society in which we live in a sector which affects daily life.’
Dorota’s job includes dealing with complaints from the general public. ‘Any citizen can complain to the Commission and we often do get complaints, particularly about food safety and animal welfare. All complaints are followed up.’
But the job involves more than policing existing rules. ‘Better legislation is one of the Commission watchwords, so we also work on simplifying food safety legislation so that citizens and the food industry can understand it more easily.’