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Proposal for a Commission Communication on the Community Animal Health Policy - Road Map

Proposal for a Commission Communication on the Community Animal Health Policy - CAHP - Strategy (2007-2013)
to the European parliament, the Council, the Economic and Social Committe and the Committee of the Regions



PART A : INITIAL IMPACT ASSESSMENT SCREENING

Q1.  WHAT ARE THE MAIN PROBLEMS IDENTIFIED?

It is fair to acknowledge the achievements of the Community Animal Health Policy (CAHP) over the years. It has enabled the EU to implement the internal market system in which animal health inspections are carried out at point of origin and not at internal borders. It has also contributed greatly to the eradication of many serious diseases which represent obstacles to free movement of animals and their products, and allows the single market to function normally.

Nevertheless the crises experienced by the European Union in the livestock sector, caused by the occurrence of wide spread diseases or by events calling into question the safety of the food chain, have highlighted the need to consider the adequacy of the following aspects of CAHP and its financial instrument:




Q2.  WHAT ARE THE MAIN POLICY OBJECTIVES?

A Commission Communication on the CAHP strategy (2007-2013):

This Communication would also include an action plan for this strategy which would be regularly reviewed.



Q3.  WHAT ARE THE POLICY OPTIONS?  WHAT REGULATORY OR NON-REGULATORY INSTRUMENTS COULD BE CONSIDERED?

A pro-active option has actually already been chosen with the active support of the Council and the Parliament.

Several actions have been launched to reflect on the issues raised by the current "veterinary" policy:

(i)   after the organisation of the Foot and Mouth Disease conference by the Belgian Presidency (12/2001), the Spanish Presidency intended to stimulate a discussion in the Council (2002) on the need for the Community to have a veterinary policy with a financial instrument that would enable it to fulfil the objectives defined in the White Paper on Food Safety (2000) Memoranda 7639/02 and Memorandum 9552/02 of the Spanish Presidency on the European Union's Veterinary Fund. pdf

(ii)   Health and Consumer Directorate-General presented a working document on a multi annual programme approach on animal diseases eradication, control and monitoring to the Chief Veterinary Officers on the 22nd of September 2004. The purpose of this document is to outline the future approach for animal disease and zoonoses eradication and control and monitoring programmes co-financed by the Community. The document was well received by all the delegations that supported the proposal in its totality. pdf

(iii)   In 2003, the Commission services have carried out a first pilot study on the risk financing model for livestock epidemics (state of play) pdf. With the support of the European Parliament, a complementary study will be performed in 2005.

(iv)After the organisation of a conference on Emerging Zoonotic Diseases in September 2004 fr pdf, the Dutch Presidency is organizing in December 2004 a conference fr pdf on the material and immaterial costs of animal disease control, with the support of the Commission.

(v)   At the initiative of the Commission, an animal health " Technology Platform" pdf is being set up, which bring together companies, research institutions, the financial world and the regulatory authorities at the European level to define a common research agenda which should mobilise a critical mass of national and European public and private resources. This project will be industry driven to develop and deliver the most up-to-date tools (e.g. new vaccines or tests) to control animal diseases of major importance to Europe and to the rest of the world.

(vi)   In 2004, the Commission requested the European Food Safety Agency (EFSA) for a scientific opinion * on assessments of the risk of introduction into the EU of major animal diseases from developing countries, as well as an assessment of the reduction of the risk through interventions in these countries. ( *opinion expected by mid-2005)

(vii)   A systematic and timely evaluation of its expenditure programmes is an established priority for the European Commission (EC), as a means of accounting for the management of allocated funds and as a way of promoting improved future performance, the Health and Consumer Directorate-General plans to launch an external evaluation * of the CAHP in 2005.

Considering the multiple ongoing actions, it is in the interest of all stakeholders that the Commission presents a coordinated and coherent approach aimed at providing the Community with an "overarching" guidance in the animal health area to complete "the farm to table" approach.

A Regulation and/or a Directive cannot be considered as practical options to present a policy strategy and an implementation plan. Instead, a Communication of the Commission to the European parliament, the Council, the Economic and Social Committe and the Committee of the Regions is the most appropriate option.

The Communication will invite the European Parliament, the Council, the Economic and Social Committee, the Committee of the Regions and all interested parties to support the overall strategy, to foster the adoption of key measures proposed and to support their implementation.



Q4.  WHAT ARE THE IMPACTS LIKELY TO RESULT FROM EACH POLICY OPTION AND WHO IS AFFECTED?   WHICH IMPACTS ARE LIKELY TO WARRANT FURTHER ANALYSIS OF (cf. list of impacts in the enclosed guide)?

The external evaluation * of the CAHP will be a key element in building the CAHP strategy. It will be based on a participative approach from the preparation phase to the dissemination phase. All ongoing initiatives already taken by the Commission services and other stakeholders will be taken into account by the evaluation team. Final conclusions and recommendations can be expected by mid-2006. Policy options and their impacts (economic, environmental and social) will be studied through this evaluation process, and will form part of the final impact assessment.



PART B : PLANNING OF FURTHER IMPACT ASSESSMENT WORK

Q5.  WHAT INFORMATION AND DATA IS ALREADY AVAILABLE?  WHAT FURTHER INFORMATION NEEDS TO BE GATHERED?   HOW WILL THIS BE DONE (e.g. INTERNALLY OR BY AN EXTERNAL CONTRACTOR) AND BY WHEN?



Q6.  WHICH STAKEHOLDERS & EXPERTS WILL BE CONSULTED, HOW AND AT WHAT STAGE?

All stakeholders will be consulted during the evaluation process (from the preparation phase starting in October 2004 to the dissemination phase ending in the 4th quarter of 2006) - a web site related to the evaluation will be created shortly.



Q7.  WILL AN INTER-SERVICE STEERING GROUP BE SET UP FOR THE "IMPACT ASSESSMENT"?

A steering group will be set up by the end of January 2005 consisting of members of the Health and Consumer Protection Directorate-General services, the European Food Safety Agency (EFSA) as well as other relevant Directorate-Generals (BUDGET, AGRI (Agriculture), RELEX family (External Relations), FISH (Fisheries), TAXUD (Taxation & Customs Union), RTD (Research), ENV (Environment), OLAF (European Anti-Fraud Office)) & 2 or 3 experts from Member States. Meeting frequency: 4 times.