Brussels, 16 Jun 2006
Subject: Proposal for a Directive of the European Parliament and of the Council on the contained use of genetically modified micro-organisms (Codified version)
Delegations will find attached a proposal from the Commission, COM(2006) 286 final submitted under a covering letter from Mr Jordi AYET PUIGARNAU to Mr Javier SOLANA, Secretary-General/High Representative.
In accordance with the method approved on 10 June 2003, delegations are invited to communicate their observations on the codification proposal before 20 July 2006. [...]
1. In the context of a people's Europe, the Commission attaches great importance to simplifying and clarifying Community law so as to make it clearer and more accessible to the ordinary citizen, thus giving him new opportunities and the chance to make use of the specific rights it gives him.
This aim cannot be achieved so long as numerous provisions that have been amended several times, often quite substantially, remain scattered, so that they must be sought partly in the original instrument and partly in later amending ones. Considerable research work, comparing many different instruments, is thus needed to identify the current rules.
For this reason a codification of rules that have frequently been amended is also essential if Community law is to be clear and transparent.
2. On 1 April 1987 the Commission therefore decided1 to instruct its staff that all legislative acts should be codified after no more than ten amendments, stressing that this is a minimum requirement and that departments should endeavour to codify at even shorter intervals the texts for which they are responsible, to ensure that the Community rules are clear and readily understandable.
3. The Conclusions of the Presidency of the Edinburgh European Council (December 1992) confirmed this2, stressing the importance of codification as it offers certainty as to the law applicable to a given matter at a given time.
Codification must be undertaken in full compliance with the normal Community legislative procedure.
Given that no changes of substance may be made to the instruments affected by codification, the European Parliament, the Council and the Commission have agreed, by an interinstitutional agreement dated 20 December 1994, that an accelerated procedure may be used for the fast-track adoption of codification instruments.
4. The purpose of this proposal is to undertake a codification of Council Directive 90/219/EEC of 23 April 1990 on the contained use of genetically modified micro-organisms3. The new Directive will supersede the various acts incorporated in it4; this proposal fully preserves the content of the acts being codified and hence does no more than bring them together with only such formal amendments as are required by the codification exercise itself.
5. The codification proposal was drawn up on the basis of a preliminary consolidation, in all official languages, of Directive 90/219/EEC and the instruments amending it, carried out by the Office for Official Publications of the European Communities, by means of a data-processing system. Where the Articles have been given new numbers, the correlation between the old and the new numbers is shown in a table contained in Annex VII to the codified Directive.