Joint Statement: Comitology Reform Threatening Innovation

17/03/2021

We, European Associations representing a wide number of economic sectors affected directly or indirectly by comitology rules, re-iterate[1] the request for timely, reliable authorisations of safe products, based on the best available science from the EU’s own risk assessment agencies. Such decisions are central for innovation, continued investments, jobs and growth, as well as consumer confidence and safety in the EU. Innovation, in turn, is critical to achieving the goals of the European Green Deal[2] and the EU’s industrial strategy[3].

We regret that the changes to the comitology system proposed by the Commission[4] would not help on any of the above goals, nor are they likely to promote social acceptance of innovation. Instead, the proposed changes would make the processes for product authorisations more complex, lengthy and less predictable.

This has been compounded by the European Parliament’s response to the Commission’s proposal, adopted in December 2020[5]. The proposal after amendments by the European Parliament will revert the logic from currently ‘approve when safe’ to ‘approve only when popular’. The Parliament’s amendments would enable a minority of Member States to block the authorisations of products, even if their safety is confirmed by the risk assessment agencies. This would make authorisations of certain products de facto impossible and would undermine science-based decision-making processes. 

Therefore, we call on Member States to reaffirm their commitment to a science-based system of product authorisations in the EU by rejecting the proposed


[1] See also Joint Statement of February 2017

[2] Communication from the EU Commission: The European Green Deal, COM/2019/640 final

[3] Communication from the EU Commission: A New Industrial Strategy for Europe COM/2020/102 final

[4] Proposal for a Regulation amending Regulation (EU) No 182/2011 laying down the rules and general principles concerning mechanisms for control by Member States of the Commission’s exercise of implementing powers. COM (2017) 85 final, 14 February 2017.

[5] Amendments adopted by the European Parliament on 17 December 2020

Signatories:

  • AESGP
  • AMFEP
  • AnimalhealthEurope
  • COCERAL
  • COPA-COGECA
  • CropLife Europe
  • EFFA
  • EFPIA
  • EUROSEEDS
  • EUROPABIO
  • FEDIOL
  • FEFAC
  • FEFANA
  • UNISTOCK
  • UECBV