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The Luxembourg Presidency (Second Half 2015)



Welcome to the Luxembourg Presidency

After Latvia in early 2015 and before the Netherlands in 2016, Luxembourg will hold the Presidency of the Council of the European Union for the twelfth time in the second semester of 2015.

 

The Luxembourg Presidency has released its program on the 1st July. The Presidency committed itself to the following measures as part of their priorities which will certainly have an impact on animal welfare:

  • The Luxembourg Presidency will advance discussions on the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) which will intensify during the second semester of 2015 when issues of substance will be addressed. The Luxembourg Presidency will promote maximum transparency in this regard.
  • The EU Biodiversity Strategy will undergo a mid-term review during the second semester of 2015. The Luxembourg Presidency will examine the results in detail and propose the adoption of conclusions by the Council in that regard.
  • Sustainability must also be the fundamental principle for the future development of European agriculture. 
  • Consumer interests will be further protected by work to improve consumer information.

 

Nevertheless and unfortunately no clear and direct reference was made to the animal welfare. This is a general trend in the present European discussions, that the Luxembourgish presidency could have tackled. First of all, the current Commission Strategy on animal welfare is coming to an end this year and many points included in this strategy haven't been fully implemented or released. Therefore, the Council of the EU should first of all press the EU Commission to fulfil its previous commitments and then prompt for the adoption and release of the upcoming Strategy (2016-2020).

 

The animal welfare issue is also one of the core concerns of numerous pieces of legislation that EU lawmakers (respectively the EU Parliament or the Council of the EU) are currently discussing.

This is the case for the so-called Animal Health Law, which is supposed to be fully adopted this autumn.

In the same vein, the Commission's proposal for a ban of farm animals cloning has to be discussed this year by the EU lawmakers (or by the Parliament at least), after the Parliament committees turned the directive's draft into a regulation one this spring.

At last, the Regulation on organic production and labelling of organic products, for which the animal welfare should certainly be a core criterion, is also being reviewed this year and is supposed to be discussed within the EU Parliament this autumn. 

 

No doubt when looking at its priorities that the Climate conference in Paris this December (COP21) has caught the core of the Luxembourg presidency's attention.

In this particular context major animal welfare considerations could have been nonetheless raised and hopefully will be in the future.

In any event, FOUR PAWS International wishes Luxembourg all the best for its presidency of the Council and invites Luxembourg to welcome more animal welfare initiatives during its presidency.

 

 

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