EU Commission's proposals for a new EU organic regulation and Organic Action Plan are now public

Yesterday the European Commission presented a legislative proposal for a new Organic Regulation and European Organic Action plan to the Council and the have been made publicly available today. 

The Commission's legislative proposal
The Annexes
The European Organic Action Plan

About the political process
On 24 March 2014, the European Commission presented a legislative proposal for a new Organic Regulation and a European Organic Action plan to the Council. The Action plan will enter into force in April, whereas the new Organic Regulation will go into trilogue discussions, with the key institutional players involved being the European Council and European Parliament.

This proposal for a new regulation is based on a process that started in 2012. In the documents and communications the Commission says that the main reasons for starting this process are meeting consumer expectations, preventing fraud and adapting the legislation to the fast-growing sector and market. IFOAM EU supports these aims and has contributed greatly by participating in stakeholder hearings, consultations and meetings, as well as by drafting concrete recommendations for how the regulation could be improved. Several of IFOAM EU´s recommendations have been taken up in the Commission’s proposal.

The European Council and European Parliament will now discuss and adapt the legal proposal, with the final legislation expected to enter into force in 2017. The major differences between the current legislation and the Commission’s proposal will create unease in the sector as the final legal requirements will remain unclear until the Commission, Parliament and Council agree on a final legal text and the ensuing delegated acts have been approved. This unstable environment is very likely to halt investment in organic production over the coming years. If the scheduled timeline is followed, the new regulation would come into force in the middle of the 2015-2020 CAP period. This creates additional uncertainty for farmers as the new organic subsidy scheme must be applied for this autumn for the entire five year period, whereas production rules would change during this time.

IFOAM EU position on On Residue Threshold in Organic Products

More information available in the IFOAM EU press release and media briefing