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Brussels, 21 April 2005
Why has the Advisory Group on the Food Chain and Animal and Plant Health been established?
The establishment of an Advisory Group on the Food Chain and Animal and Plant Health was foreseen in the General Food Law regulation of 2002, to formalise and reinforce the transparent consultation of stakeholders on EU policy related to the food and feed chain. In August 2004, the Commission adopted a decision to create this group, and the call for applications was launched on 25 August 2004.
What will be the role of the Advisory Group?
The Advisory Group will provide input into the preparation, revision and evaluation or legislative proposals. As part of the public consultation process, members can ask the competent Commission services about issues of particular relevance to their sector. This consultation process will play a key role in the development of Commission policy in the areas of food and feed safety, animal health and welfare, plant health and human nutrition and on the main legislative proposals within these fields. The group will meet at least twice a year and be chaired by the Commission.
How were the members selected?
Following a call for applications, the Commission received more than one hundred responses from a wide range of professional organisations from primary production to food and feed production, transportation, storage, the distribution and retail sectors as well as from consumer organisations and NGOs. In accordance with criteria set on the basis of Commission decision 2004/613/EC, the Commission selected 36 members from these applications.
What criteria were used to decide the members of the Advisory Group?
In order to be considered for membership of the Advisory Group, applicants were required to be EU or trans-national organisations representing bodies in all or most Member States. The objectives of the organisation need to be of general interest and linked to food and feed policy. Members must have an office in Brussels, an adequate level of resources to allow swift and coordinated reactions from members and make an active contribution to Commission activities.
Applications from local, regional, national and non-EU associations were not considered, nor were those from private companies, service providers, mono-sectoral associations or organisations dealing with issues outside the scope of food and feed policy.
Can organisations which are not members of the Advisory Group still take part in Health and Consumer Protection stakeholder consultations?
Organisations which were not selected as members to the Advisory Group can still participate in ad hoc working groups on specific health and consumer protection issues that they have an interest in. In addition, there is the possibility for the Commission to invite non-member organizations to take part in an Advisory Group meeting as observers if the issue being discussed is of particular relevance to them.