As the clock is ticking for the controversial herbicide’s license renewal, the EU-28 member states have failed to agree to the five-year license renewal proposed by the European Commission on Wednesday.
The Standing Committee on Plants, Animal Food and Feed met on Thursday, after the EU executive’s decision on Wednesday to go for a five-year license renewal. However, according to the European Commission spokeswoman for Health, Food Safety and Energy Union projects Anca Paduraru, a qualified majority could not be reached either in favor or against the renewal of the license at the vote that followed the discussion among the member states.
It turns out that only half of the EU member states supported the European Commission proposal: Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Ireland, Spain, Latvia Lithuania, Hungary, the Netherlands, Slovenia, Slovakia, Finland, Sweden and the UK. Nine member states (Belgium, Greece, France, Croatia, Italy, Cyprus Luxembourg, Malta, and Austria) voted against, while five (Bulgaria, Germany, Poland Portugal and Romania) abstained.
According to Comitology rules on the absence of a decision within the Standing Committee, the European Commission will now submit the proposal to the Appeal Committee on Phytopharmaceuticals by the end of November, so that there will be enough time to have a decision by 15 December, who the current license of glyphosate is to expire.
This procedure is activated, where no opinion is delivered during a vote at a regular committee. Then, the European Commission may submit the draft implementing act to the Appeal Committee for further deliberation, as the Appeal Committee functions like other EU-member state’s representatives’ committees, still chaired by the Commission and subjected to the same voting rules as other Comitology Committees. However, the Appeal Committee is considered more of a procedural tool and less of a permanent body.