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European Conference on Ensuring Seed Availability - Introduction
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European Conference on Ensuring Seed Availability in the 21st Century

18 March 2009, Brussels, Belgium





Dear Visitors,

DG 'Health and Consumers' will organise the above conference in order to communicate and discuss the results of the evaluation of the EU legislation on seeds and propagating material (S&PM) and the way forward. The idea is to have a clear view on the position of the various stakeholder groups with regard to the recommendations made in the evaluation report. This input should help the Commission in the elaboration of its action plan for the review of Community legislation on the marketing of S&PM and the identification of issues on which the impact assessment should focus.

Seed makes food, feed, fibre, flowers and fuel. The objective of the legislation (comprising 12 Directives) is to ensure the free movement of high-quality seed and plant propagating material (S&PM) of plant varieties that meet the expectations of its users.

Since the first adoption of the legislation in the 1960s, new priorities, such as good agricultural practice, sustainability and protection of the environment including the protection of genetic diversity and food safety have come to the fore. Equally, new breeding techniques have been developed and the structure of S&PM has changed, developing into a global business. The implementation of the legislation and its robustness with regard to potential new challenges, as well as its relevance and utility were evaluated by an external consultant in 2007-2008 with a view to paving the way for revision of the legislation.


Robert Madelin

Director General