at 12 Mar 2014 09:17
We've made it! The Parliament of the EU has decided: the Commissions proposal for a seed regulation is politically dead. In yesterdays plenary session was adopted with 51 to 130 votes a legislative resolution, which rejects the proposal of 6 Mai 2013 very clear and calls the Commission to submit a new one.
Until the last moment it was unclear: would the Parliament adopt such a legally binding resolution or would it restrict itself to a simple appeal to the Commission to withdraw the proposal? This appeal in the so called rejection report got 650 to 15 votes. But the Parliament insisted in a voting on the legislative resolution with the above mentioned result.
By this the longstanding engagement of organisations and groups which are dedicated to the maintaining and broadening of diversity, which are working for farmers rights to produce, exchange and use their seed or which are breeding varieties for ecofarming was successful.
With this decision the Parliament gave ear to the many hundreds of thousands of people from many European countries which signed since April 2013 diverse petitions against the Commissions proposal. Alone our petition â€žseed diversity under threatâ€œ got some 150.000 supporters in 12 different languages.
A big â€žTHANK YOUâ€œ to all of you!
Now it would be important to adopt the current â€“ even restrictive â€“ EU-seed-law to the demands of maintaining and broadening of diversity. By this there should be given a reasonable legal framework to the groups, organisations and individuals which are engaged in this, and these initiatives should be supported and not restricted. A first step could be the evaluation of the so called conservation directives 2008/62/EC and 2009/145/EC, which should be done (as the directive itself demands) until end of 2013.
On the other hand the official control of the seeds of the seed industry has to be ensured. Concentration processes through acquisitions and interdependence have led in the past 30 years to a dangerous market power of the major chemical and seed corporations. And the seed industry won't give up their aim. Yesterday the seed lobby ESA tried to disturb the audience be claiming that the decision taken by the Parliament is invalid by procedural mistakes, see kurzlink.de/esa-seedlaw-140311. Anyhow, ESA's Secretary General Garlich von Essen had to admit the strength of the opponents to the new seed regulation and has spoken of a "very, very strong campaign".
Now we have to wait and be aware of how the Commission and the Council react on the resolution of the Parliament â€“ and we will be attentive to intervene if necessary. In the times of climate change and exhaustion of resources we need a reorientation in the demands to varieties. How long agriculture and horticulture will be able to afford high-input-varieties? In the long run we need varieties with a positive energy balance â€“ for this we need a rethinking in the seed legislation, and for this the support of you all will be needed furthermore!
Campaign for Seed-Sovereignty