EXME 13 / 03.01
Midday Express of 2013-01-03
News from the European Commission's Midday Briefing
Nouvelles du rendez-vous de midi de la Commission européenne
Common Agricultural Policy: new quality regulation enters into force, more guarantees for consumers and fairer prices for farmers
Guaranteeing quality to consumers and a fair price for farmers are the twin aims of the new Council Regulation on quality schemes for agricultural products that enters into force today. Based on the Commission's 2010 proposal, it provides consumers with information on products' characteristics, protects product names from misuse and imitation and encourages the diversification of agricultural production. "The strength of European agricultural production lies in its diversity, in the know-how of farmers, and in the soil and territories of production", said Dacian CIOLOŞ, Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development today, adding, "Farmers, who are under pressure from the economic downturn, concentration of retailer bargaining power, and global competition, need the tools to better communicate about the quality of their products to consumers". The new regulation simplifies several quality schemes and creates a more robust framework for the protection and promotion of quality agricultural products. Key elements include : more coherence and clarity, reinforcing the existing scheme for protected designations of origin and geographical indications (PDOs and PGIs), among others with faster registration procedures; simplifying and strengthening the traditional specialities guaranteed scheme, and creating the optional quality term "mountain product". In addition, the Commission is asked to report by 4 January 2014 to the European Parliament and to the Council on local farming and direct sales, as well as on the potential new optional quality term "product of island farming". More information is available at: http://ec.europa.eu/agriculture/newsroom/100_en.htm
Marseille (France) and Košice (Slovakia) are the European Capitals of Culture in 2013. The cultural programme will officially begin on 12 January in Marseille and on 19 January in Košice.
As we enter into 2013, the European Commission kicks off the European Year of Citizens, a year dedicated to you and to your rights. This European Year comes at a critical juncture in European integration - 2013 marks the 20th anniversary of EU Citizenship, which was introduced by the Maastricht Treaty in 1993, and it is also one year before the European Parliament elections. Item