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Food industry

Regulatory aspects

Food safety, nutrition and health considerations are just some of the reasons why the EU regularly reviews its food policy to improve production methods and ensure rules are respected.

The DG for Enterprise and Industry aims to guarantee coherence between food safety and competitiveness principles by promoting a standardised, transparent and reliable legal framework that is not overly burdensome for companies.

Policy Development

The regulatory framework in which EU food industry businesses operate is a key determinant of their competitiveness, growth and employment performance.

To make sure that regulation is used only when necessary, that it allows for innovation and that the burdens it imposes are proportionate to its objective, the European Commission has in place a number of processes and tools. These include the use of impact assessment and stakeholder consultation in the development of new policy proposals. being considered in parallel.

The Commission is also taking measures to simplify existing legislation. To this end, the Commission has designed, and is currently implementing, a simplification rolling programme български (bg) czech (cs) dansk (da) Deutsch (de) eesti (et) ελληνικά (el) español (es) Français (fr) Gaeilge (ga) hrvatski (hr) italiano (it) latviešu (lv) lietuvių (lt) magyar (hu) Malti (mt) Nederlands (nl) polski (pl) português (pt) română (ro) slovenčina (sk) slovenščina (sl) suomi (fi) svenska (sv) , which initially consisted of 100 initiatives covering more than 220 legal texts to be clarified, modernised, streamlined or repealed over the period 2005-2008. The rolling programme has recently been updated with the addition of 43 new initiatives to be implemented by 2009.

Management Committee

The Council has conferred on to the Commission powers for the implementation of certain detailed rules in relation to trade arrangements for Processed Agricultural Products. To ensure decision-making for this secondary legislation within suitable periods the Commission operates in close consultation with a Management Committee on which Member States are represented.

The Committee for Processed Agricultural Products is called "Management Committee for Horizontal questions - and the Group of Exports - Non Annex I goods" and it is held approximately once every month. The purpose of the Management Committee is not only to give an opinion on draft measures submitted by the Commission but it also provides a forum for discussion of opinions and enhances information flow between the Member States and the Commission.

The agenda for committee meetings, the summary records of the meetings and the results of voting are submitted to the representatives of the Member States and to the European Parliament.

For further information, please consult the following links: Art. 16 of Reg. (EEC) No 3448/93 pdf - 147 KB [147 KB] and Council Decision 1999/468/EC pdf - 50 KB [50 KB] .

Food Safety

EU food law [222 KB] aims at ensuring a high level of protection of human life and health, taking into account the protection of animal health and welfare, plant health and the environment. This integrated " farm to fork" approach is now considered a general principle for the EU's food safety policy.

Food law, both at national and EU level, establishes the rights of consumers to safe food and to accurate and honest information. EU food law aims to standardise existing national requirements in order to ensure the free movement of food and feed in the EU.

Through its food law, the EU demonstrates its commitment to its international obligations. Food law will be developed and adapted taking international standards into consideration, except where this might undermine the high level of consumer protection pursued by the EU.

DG Enterprise aims to ensure coherence between food safety objectives and enterprise competitiveness by advocating a harmonised, transparent and predictable regulatory framework, not too burdensome for companies.

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