What Price Flexibility? – The Recent Commission Proposal to Allow for National ‘Opt-Outs’ on GMO Cultivation Under the Deliberate Release Directive and the Comitology Post-Lisbon
Vol. 1 (4) European Journal of Risk Regulation (2010), 345
Posted: 20 Dec 2012
Date Written: 2010
This paper analyzes the Commission proposal to grant EU Member States more freedom to restrict or ban the cultivation of GMOs on their territory. It argues that this new "flexible" approach to GMO cultivation not only raises concerns from the point of view of EU internal market law, but also is unlikely to solve the problem of Member States’ opposition to the authorisation of new GMOs in the comitology system as reformed following the Lisbon Treaty. The paper concludes that the Commission proposal should mainly be seen as a strategic policy choice. In return for its flexibility the Commission hopes to facilitate the GMO authorisation process at EU level. At the same time it wants to shift the legal and political responsibility for GMO restrictions on to the Member States. Rather than resolving the current problems of GMO regulation, this situation demonstrates once again a political “ping pong” game, in which political leaders at both EU and national level do not feel very comfortable having the final say on whether or not to cultivate GM crops in Europe.
Keywords: risk regulation, GMOs, comitology, EU internal market law
JEL Classification: K00, K10, K20, K23, K29, K19, K33, K39
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation