The Agriculture Committee rejected the Commission's proposed seed regulation by 37 votes to two on Tuesday amid concerns that it would give the Commission excessively wide powers and leave member states no room to adapt the rules to their needs. MEPs also said that the proposal failed to meet core objectives such as simplifying the rules and promoting innovation or to deal with plants viewed as generic resources.
'We have sent a strong signal to the Commission today that the Agriculture Committee is not happy with the proposal as tabled, which prompted many concerns among MEPs. We are worried that merging 12 directives into one [directly applicable] regulation would offer member states no room for manoeuvre to adapt the proposed rules to their needs, while the high number of delegated acts would give the Commission excessively wide powers, especially over heterogeneous material and niche markets,' said committee chair Paolo De Castro (S&D, IT).
'The Commission's proposal arrived too late to allow the European Parliament enough time to tackle this fundamental piece of legislation for the seed sector fully and responsibly. And I believe that content here is more crucial than deadlines. We therefore approved an oral question asking the Commission whether it is prepared to withdraw the proposal with view to submitting a new, improved draft to the newly elected European Parliament. In plenary session, we shall also vote on a non-legislative resolution, which will summarise our concerns and will provide a good basis for the Commission to improve its proposal,' said rapporteur Sergio Paolo Francesco Silvestris (EPP, IT).
After its rejection in the Agriculture Committee, the proposal will be scrutinised by the European Parliament as a whole at one of the forthcoming plenary sessions. If the House follows the committee’s recommendation that it reject the proposal, the President of the European Parliament will ask Commission to withdraw it.