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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 that 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 operators.

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 legislation is introduced 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.

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initially consisted of 100 initiatives covering more than 220 legal texts to be clarified, modernised, streamlined or repealed over the period 2005-2008.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.

Food Safety

EU food law 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 and Industry 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.

The Commission is also taking measures to simplify existing legislation. To this end, the Commission has implemented, a simplification rolling programme, covering more than 220 legal texts that were modernised, streamlined or repealed over the period 2005-2009.

Trade in processed agricultural products

DG Enterprise and Industry is responsible for the trade regime for processed agricultural products (regulation (EU)No 510/2014).

The European Parliament and the Council have conferred on to the Commission powers for completing the basic regulation and for the implementation of certain detailed rules in relation to trade arrangements for Processed Agricultural Products. To ensure decision-making for this secondary legislation the Commission operates in close consultation with an Expert Group and a Management Committee in which Member States are represented(articles 290 & 291 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union).

Expert Group

The Expert Group for Processed Agricultural Products is called "Expert Group on delegated acts under Regulation (EU) No 510/2014 for horizontal questions concerning trade in processed agricultural products not listed in Annex I" and is held every time it is required for preparing a delegated act.

The purpose of the Expert Group is to consult the experts of the Member States and of the European Parliament when preparing and drawing-up delegated acts.

The Expert Group is a valuable forum where the experts of the Parliament and the Member States have the opportunity to make a useful and effective contribution to the Commission. No vote takes place and there is no formal opinion but it is indispensable to obtain a technical reaction from experts on the substance of the text the Commission intends to adopt and also a first political feedback from the co-legislators.

The agenda for Expert group meetings and the relevant documents, are transmitted to the representatives of the Member States and to the European Parliament.

Following consultation, the Commission adopts the delegated act that is then published in the register of documents of the Commission and notified to the EP and the Council for exercising their right of objection before the act enters formally into force.

Management Committee

The Committee for Processed Agricultural Products is called "ManagementCommittee for Horizontal questions concerning trade in processed agricultural products not listed in Annex I"and it is held several times a year. Its purpose 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 Commitee is consulted according to the rules laid down in Art 5 of Reg. (EU) no 182/2011 (examination procedure). The agenda for the committee meetings, the summary records of the meetings and the results of voting are transmitted to the representatives of the Member States and published on the Comitology register, in order for the EP and the Council to exercise their scrutiny rights.

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