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IP/02/1100

Brussels, 19 July 2002

New building for Commission's Food and Veterinary Office officially opened in Ireland

The Irish Taoiseach, Mr Bertie Ahern, today announced the official opening of the Food and Veterinary Office's (FVO) new purpose built building in Grange, Co Meath, Ireland. The FVO is an integral part of the European Commission's Health and Consumer Protection Directorate General. It is responsible for checking that EU rules on food, live animals and plant products are complied with, both within the EU and also in third countries which export to the EU. Last year FVO inspectors carried out over 200 inspections in 52 different countries.

The €35 million building, located on a 9 hectare landscaped site 40 Km north-west of Dublin, will accommodate the existing 150 FVO staff and has a range of facilities including, a conference centre, crèche, restaurant and cafeteria. The 12,500 square metre building was designed by the Irish Office of Public Works on behalf of the Commission.

Speaking at the official opening, David Byrne, EU Commissioner for Health and Consumer Protection said the FVO "had a crucial role in the work of protecting our three hundred and ninety million EU consumers". He described the FVO as "an excellent example of the practical work of one of the EU institutions" and added: "Too often we hear talk of the European Commission as being remote, unaccountable, and so on - the sort of criticism that comes up regularly, not just in Ireland but in other parts of the EU as well. Here in Grange we have the reality, not the fiction put out by our critics. An operation run by the European Commission to enforce EU laws agreed by the Council and the European Parliament, with practical benefits for all of the people of the European Union."

More information at: http://europa.eu.int/comm/food/fs/inspections/index_en.html

Pictures and an EBS news item of the opening are avalailable at:

http://europa.eu.int/comm/mediatheque/photo/new_en.html

http://europa.eu.int/comm/ebs/schedule.cfm?jour=6&semaine=29

Pictures and an EBS infoclip of a FVO inspection on BSE legislation are available at:

http://europa.eu.int/comm/mediatheque/photo/new_en.html

http://europa.eu.int/comm/ebs/schedule.cfm?jour=6&semaine=29


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