What Price Flexibility? – The Recent Commission Proposal to Allow for National “Opt-Outs” on GMO Cultivation under the Deliberate Release Directive and the Comitology Reform Post-Lisbon

“After a reform is before another reform.” This paraphrasing of a famous saying from the world of football seems to be a very fitting way to describe the status quo of the European policy on genetically modified organisms (GMOs). The functioning of the EU legal framework on GMOs has since its initial establishment in the 1990s been troubled by political disagreement, deadlocks in decision-making, strong public opposition in the Member States, and considerable delays in the process of authorisation of genetically engineered products on the internal market of the EU.

Despite previous reform efforts, especially the significant reshaping and tightening of EU rules in the period of 2001 to 2003, these problems still remain. This makes EU authorisation of GMOs one of the most controversial and politically intractable policy areas. At the same time the EU institutions experience considerable pressure from the biotech industry and the EU’s trading partners supported by the framework of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) to install a functioning authorisation system compliant with the EU’s internal market as well as WTO law. In July 2010 the European Commission presented its latest reform proposal for the GMO legal framework. It adopted a legislative proposal to amend Directive 2001/18 on the deliberate release into the environment of GMOs (Deliberate Release Directive) in order to grant Member States more freedom to restrict or ban the cultivation of GMOs on their territory. At the same time, the Commission adopted a new Recommendation concerning national strategies on the co-existence of GM crops with conventional or organic crops.

Copyright: © Lexxion Verlagsgesellschaft mbH
Quelle: Issue 04/2010 (Dezember 2010)
Seiten: 8
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Autor: Maria Weimer

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