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Brussels, 23 May 2007

Simplification of legislation on the promotion of agricultural products

The European Commission today proposed a new, single framework for the promotion of agricultural products on the internal market and on third country markets. The new legal text merges the existing two pieces of legislation into one text, thus harmonising and simplifying the rules. For the stakeholders of promotion policy in the Member States, this single legal framework will facilitate access to and participation in the scheme.

Commenting on the proposal, Mariann Fischer Boel, Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural development said: "Simplification of EU agricultural legislation and the promotion of European Union farm products are two of my major priorities. Simplification of the CAP is a key element of the Better Regulation and Simplification Agenda of the European Commission. Investing in promotion and information campaigns for our agricultural products is important to explain to consumers how unique EU farm products are in their quality and diversity."

Under two existing Council Regulations, Member States may carry out promotional measures for certain agricultural products both on the internal market and on third country markets. These measures are co-financed by the EU budget up to 50%. The aim of these schemes is to boost the image of these products in the eyes of consumers.

The measures can consist of public relations, promotional or publicity actions, in particular highlighting the advantages of EU products, especially in terms of quality, hygiene, food safety, nutrition, labelling, animal welfare or environment-friendliness of their production, The measures can also cover participation at events and fairs, information campaigns on the EU system of protected designations of origin (PDO), protected geographical indications (PGI) and traditional speciality guaranteed (TSG), information on EU quality and labelling systems and organic farming. Information campaigns on the EU system of quality wines produced in specified regions (QWPSR) and wines and spirit drinks with geographical indications are also amongst the possibilities,

In the light of the experience gained since the launching of the schemes in 2000 and with a view of simplification, a single legal framework should be adopted for the promotion of agricultural products both on the internal market and on third country markets, whilst maintaining the specific features of measures that differ according to where they are carried out. With this aim, the proposal is to recast the two Regulations into a single one.

The proposal will now be sent to the Council for discussion and adoption. The two existing implementing rules, one for the internal market and one for third countries, will also be merged into a single one after the adoption of the Council legislation.

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