Brussels, 06 Jun 2003
Subject: Proposal for a Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on the transboundary movement of genetically modified organisms
- Outcome of the European Parliament's second reading (Strasbourg, 2 to 5 June 2003)
In the context of the new approach based on a constructive dialogue between the European Parliament and the Council, which ensues from the joint declaration on practical arrangements for the new co-decision procedure, there have been a number of informal contacts between those two Institutions and the Commission with a view to reaching a compromise agreement at second reading. The Rapporteur, Mr. J. SJÖSTEDT (GUE/NGL), presented his report on behalf of the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Consumer Policy. In the light of the informal talks which ended in a compromise agreement between the three institutions, the Rapporteur tabled - jointly with the representatives of the other EP parliamentary groups - a package of compromise amendments (amendments 19 to 26) intended to replace amendments 1 to 18 put forward initially by the Committee. In his address to the plenary, the Rapporteur thanked all involved in the negotiation of this file and explained that through the adoption of these rules, the European Union would show that environmental considerations and respect for developing countries' own laws are key elements of the EU approach to global trade on genetically modified products. The rules thus adopted, he continued, reflected a more responsible, honest and far-sighted approach than other countries. From the Commission, Commissioner WALLSTRÖM, highlighted the importance of progressing swiftly at the European Union level in order to have implementing legislation adopted before the Cartagena protocol 1 enters into force. As a result, the Commissioner added, the Commission was willing to overcome some reservations it had expressed previously on a number of political points in order to increase the chances of reaching agreement at second reading. The Commission could therefore support the compromise package. Representatives of all main political groups intervened in plenary to welcome the negotiated agreement and highlighted the importance of concluding it, both for the entry into force of the Cartagena Protocol and also as an incentive for other countries to consider similar rules for the export of genetically modified organisms. They welcomed in particular the fact that the text on the table allows for the free choice of importing third countries, especially the poorest among them. II. VOTE The package of compromise amendments was adopted by an overwhelming majority. These amendments reflect the compromise agreement reached between the three institutions and should therefore be acceptable to the Council. The text of the adopted amendments and the legislative resolution of the European Parliament are set out in the Annex to this note.