Q: Jérémy Decerle (Renew, FR), Irène Tolleret (Renew, FR), Hilde Vautmans (Renew, BE), Atidzhe Alieva-Veli (Renew, BG), Ulrike Müller (Renew, AT), Elsi Katainen (Renew, FI)– Animal Health Law (2020-09-08)

Q: MEP Jérémy Decerle (Renew, FR), Irène Tolleret (Renew, FR), Hilde Vautmans (Renew, BE), Atidzhe Alieva-Veli (Renew, BG), Ulrike Müller (Renew, AT), Elsi Katainen (Renew, FI)–  Animal Health Law (2020-09-08)

The co-legislators provided for a two-year period between the adoption of the secondary acts related to Regulation (EU) 2016/429 ('Animal Health Law’) and its entry into force, scheduled for 21 April 2021. The delegated acts should therefore have been adopted by 21 April 2019. For most of them, however, there is a delay of over a year.

Many stakeholders and the heads of veterinary services of 25 Member States have stated that the time limits can no longer be respected, which may lead to significant distortions in the implementation of this important Regulation.

This delay has been exacerbated by the COVID-19 crisis, which has already, for example, led to the postponement of essential training in many Member States.

1. Does the Commission intend to propose a rapid postponement of the entry into force of this Regulation?

2. So far the Commission has stated it would refuse a postponement. If the Commission confirms this, is it aware of the consequences for the consultations required prior to the entry into force of the Regulation?

3. How would the Commission justify rushing into the drafting of the latest acts and the implementation of a fundamental Regulation which is intended to be long-lasting and does not deal with health emergencies?

A: Commissioner Kyriakides on behalf of the European Commission

Since entry into force of Regulation (EU) 2016/429 (‘Animal Health Law’)(1), the Commission has extensively consulted on the delegated and implementing acts based on it. Over 80 meetings with Member States’ experts have taken place, discussions with stakeholders were organised on a regular basis in the framework of Animal Health Advisory Committee meetings, as well as through a number of multilateral and bilateral meetings.

All acts were presented for public feedback through the Commission’s Better Regulation Portal. The Commission has systematically assessed the input and considered it when finalising the drafts before their adoption.

The Commission is currently finalising certain implementing acts, notably those on certificates and lists of third countries, complementing not only the Animal Health Law, but also the Official Controls Regulation(2), which is already applicable for almost one year.

The Commission is doing its utmost to finalise those acts as soon as possible. However, it should be noted that all of these acts are directly applicable and do not require transposition. Moreover, in terms of substance, they largely reflect the existing acquis. As for previous acts, extensive consultations have been undertaken and are ongoing on these acts .

Although the Commission is not in favour of postponing the date of application of the Animal Health Law, it is aware of the concerns raised by Member States and various stakeholders and is assessing the situation. Postponing the date of application would cause delays in the implementation of various animal health measures that have been called for by European stakeholders, as well as of directly related official control measures.