European Commission kicks off background work for the Study
In November 2019, Member States of the European Union have requested the European Commission to conduct a study on the Union’s options to update the existing legislation on the production and marketing of plant reproductive material through Council decision (EU) 2019/1905. The decision indicates that the Commission can also issue a proposal, if appropriate in view of the outcomes of the study, which should be published by 31st December 2020. It is today clear that the major portion of the study will rely and build upon the results of the impact assessment that was carried out before the submission of the European Commission Proposal in 2013, and that it will be limited to submit options, without necessarily coming up with a proposal. Nonetheless, the European Commission (Unit Plant Health) has outsourced the conduct of specific research to an external consultancy, which will contact key stakeholders to respond to a limited number of questions regarding the implementation of the seeds marketing Directives. We have been ensured that the crop biodiversity movement would be included in the consultation, and that a portion of the questions relate to the problems encountered by these initiatives on account of the national implementation of these Directives, or their rationale. The stakeholder consultation should start in March 2020 at the latest, and interested stakeholders are invited to signal such interest to the European Commission, which would forward the request to the contracted consultancy.