Texte de la question, 22-04-2016 : Minor crops — those grown on relatively small areas of farmland — suffer from a serious problem in that plant protection products to fight pests, disease and weeds are in short supply. The process of authorising plant protection products for these crops must be speeded up therefore. The Commission recently set up an EU Minor Use Coordination Facility (technical secretariat), but endowed it with a limited budget that only allows it to carry out coordination work. This Facility cannot fund directly therefore from its own resources plans for a register of plant protection products for minor crops. The lack of plant protection solutions is one of the main threats to survival of these crops and for this reason the prevalence of slow, complex and costly registration processes should be avoided.
Does the Commission plan to develop further the Coordination Facility’s duties and grant it a bigger budget so as to fund directly plans for a register of minor-crop plant protection products?
Will the Commission urge Member States, and Spain in particular, to speed up the authorisation procedure for plant protection products for minor crops?
Will the Commission work on really simplifying the registration process for minor-crop plant protection products, as laid down in Article 51 of Regulation (EC) No 1107/2009 concerning the placing of plant protection products on the market?
Mr Andriukaitis on behalf of the Commission
The EU Minor Uses Coordination Facility became operational in 2015 and was equipped with a budget which is expected to cover all necessary expenses to fulfil its tasks of:
— liaising with all Member States, growers associations and other organisations active internationally in the field of minor uses;
— stimulating and supporting further harmonisation in the field of minor uses;
— maintaining the European Minor Use Database (Eumuda) as a key structure to identify minor uses gaps, share information on them and cooperate to find solutions; and
— contributing to the development of non-chemical and IPM routes to solve minor use problems.
In relation to the last point, the Facility will establish a strong link with the C-IPM Eranet(1), aiming at finding sustainable methods to solve minor use gaps.
The funding of further projects, such as those suggested by the Honourable Member, would go beyond the empowerment of the Commission for incurring expenditure laid down in Article 76 of Regulation (EC) No 1107/2009(2) .
The Commission agrees that timely decision-making on applications for minor use authorisation extensions is critical and regularly follows up this issue with Member States.
The Commission believes that the current registration process is already sufficiently simplified and that any compromising of the high safety level for human and animal health and the environment by further simplification of the regulatory framework should be avoided. Member States and stakeholders should continue exploring how to apply the existing provisions in the most suitable way.
(2) OJ L 309, 24.11.2009, p. 1.