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GMO-FREE REGIONS & REGULATION: The Polish Presidency prepares the ground for the debate on cultivation of GMOs



                                  PART 1


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TITLE:   THE POLISH PRESIDENCY PREPARES THE GROUND FOR THE DEBATE ON CULTIVATION OF GMOS

SOURCE:  Euroalert, Spain

AUTHOR:  

URL:     http://euroalert.net/en/news.aspx?idn=13432

DATE:    13.09.2011

SUMMARY: "The Polish Presidency in the EU Council wants to reach an agreement as soon as possible on cultivation of GMOs. The next round of talks held by the Polish Presidency is to take place as early as on 15 September in Brussels. A decision enabling Member States to decide freely on limiting or prohibiting cultivation of genetically modified organisms within their territories needs to be taken, thus, the Polish hold meetings of the so-called ad hoc group for GMOs."

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THE POLISH PRESIDENCY PREPARES THE GROUND FOR THE DEBATE ON CULTIVATION OF GMOS

The Polish Presidency in the EU Council wants to reach an agreement as soon as possible on cultivation of GMOs. The next round of talks held by the Polish Presidency is to take place as early as on 15 September in Brussels. A decision enabling Member States to decide freely on limiting or prohibiting cultivation of genetically modified organisms within their territories needs to be taken, thus, the Polish hold meetings of the so-called ad hoc group for GMOs. The works of the ad hoc group for GMOs focus on the draft Regulation of the European Parliament and the Council amending the GMO Directive (2001/18/EC) ? as regards the cultivation of genetically modified organisms, the use of GMOs and the introduction of GMOs into the environment. It is main aim is to resolve the stalemate situation concerning genetically modified organisms in spite of an enormous number of various interests and opinions reported by Member States.

With regard to this situation, Andrzej Kraszewski, the Polish Minister of the Environment, stressed that the problem of genetically modified organisms is a major one, and it covers environmental, social, economic issues. He added that the Polish Presidency makes efforts so as to reach a common position within the EU Council. Therefore, the Polish Minister request for active participation of all countries in the works and reaching a compromise. In addition, last April, MEPs from the Environment Committee approved a report in which consider that to allow EU countries to ban or restrict the use of GMOs (genetically modified organisms) on environmental grounds should be a European obligation, giving them better legal protection in the event of challenges from trading partners opposed to a ban.

It will be possible to draw up a document containing a compromise text, taking into account comments from Member States, if Poland manages to be provided with opinions and gets to know the specific expectations of Member States in relation to the draft Regulation. Its adoption by the Council will be equivalent to granting a negotiation mandate to the Polish Presidency, as the Presidency?s objective is the continuation of the works and attempting to obtain a negotiation mandate so as to enable commencement of talks with the European Parliament and the adoption of legislation in second reading.



                                  PART 2

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TITLE:   POLISH CALL FOR COOPERATION WITHIN IN THE EU AS REGARDS GMOS

SOURCE:  Government of Poland, Poland

AUTHOR:  Press Release

URL:     http://pl2011.eu/en/content/polish-call-cooperation-within-eu-regards-gmos

DATE:    09.09.2011

SUMMARY: "Is Europe in favour of the freedom of Member States as regards a ban on cultivation of GMOs within their territories? In the framework of the Presidency the Polish Ministry of the Environment urges the ministers of EU Member States to get engaged in an agreement. The next round of talks held by the Polish Presidency is to take place as early as on 15 September in Brussels."

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POLISH CALL FOR COOPERATION WITHIN IN THE EU AS REGARDS GMOS

Is Europe in favour of the freedom of Member States as regards a ban on cultivation of GMOs within their territories? In the framework of the Presidency the Polish Ministry of the Environment urges the ministers of EU Member States to get engaged in an agreement. The next round of talks held by the Polish Presidency is to take place as early as on 15 September in Brussels.

Within the measures undertaken in the framework of the Polish Presidency in the EU Council, the Polish Ministry of the Environment is responsible for e.g. managing the works in the area of GMOs conducted in Europe. Continuing the talks initiated by the two previous Presidencies: the Belgian and Hungarian ones, the Polish hold meetings of the so-calledad hoc group forGMOs. This is a form adopted so as to attempt to resolve the stalemate situation concerning genetically modified organisms in spite of an enormous number of various interests and opinions reported by Member States. A decision enabling Member States to decide freely on limiting or prohibiting cultivation of genetically modified organisms within their territories needs to be taken.

Prior to the first meeting out of the two ones scheduled to be held by the Polish Presidency as regards this issue (15 September), the Ministry of the Environment urged the EU ministers competent for GMO issues to get engaged in attempts to reach a compromise.

While justifying the Polish call Andrzej Kraszewski, the Minister of the Environment, stresses that:

- The problem of genetically modified organisms is a major one, and it covers environmental, social, economic issues. The Polish Presidency makes efforts so as to reach a common position within the EU Council.Therefore, we kindly request for active participation of all countries in the works and reaching a compromise. I hope for the completion of the first stage of works on the new regulation which, once it has entered into force, will allow our governments to take sovereign decisions on GM crops, in line with the EU law and international agreements.

The works of the ad hoc group forGMOs focus on the draft Regulation of the European Parliament and the Council amending the GMO Directive (2001/18/EC) ? as regards the cultivation of genetically modified organisms, the use of GMOs and the introduction of GMOs into the environment.

The postulate of the Member States to decide freely in the GMO issue results from the conclusions of theEnvironmental Committee from 2008, in which a decision to initiate talks within an ad hoc group, i.e. one created with the purpose of ongoing settlement of disputes outside the existing forum was taken.

While commenting on this letter Janusz Zaleski, Undersecretary of State in the Ministry of the Environment, Chief Nature Conservator, said:

- We want to engage all our European partners in active participation in measures aimed at reaching an agreement as regards also the GMO issues, as it fully captures the sense of our role in the EU as a presidency. We care about the possibly greatest recognition of the positions of all Member States and developing a European agreement within this difficult area.

If Poland manages to be provided with opinions and gets to know the specific expectations of Member States in relation to the draft Regulation it will be possible to draw up a document containing a compromise text, taking into account comments from Member States.Its adoption by the Council will be equivalent to granting a negotiation mandate to the Polish Presidency,as the Presidency's objective is the continuation of the works and attempting to obtain a negotiation mandate so as to enable commencement of talks with the European Parliament and the adoption of legislation in second reading.