Persistent organic pollutants ("POPs") are chemical substances that persist in the environment, bioaccumulate through the food web, and pose a risk to human health and the environment.
The aim of this proposal for a regulation is that the Commission has identified needs to update and recast the existing regulation on Persistent Organic Pollutants that dates back to 2004.
This EESC opinion intends to look deeper into the merits and the consequences of the Commission's Action Plan for nature, people and the economy.
The Commission has developed an action plan to improve the implementation of the Nature Directives, their coherence with socio-economic objectives and engagement with national, regional and local authorities, stakeholders and citizens.
This opinion considers the root causes, the negative impact on rural areas and highlights best initiatives to re-energise communities through the RDP and other support measures.
Rural development is a horizontal issue that affects practically all policy areas.
The EESC welcomes the Cork 2.0 Declaration that offers strong ongoing support for a rural policy at EU level. The EESC sees itself as a natural partner when it comes to implementing the declaration, and requests that the Commission continue producing progress reports on said implementation.
Rural regions in the EU are not homogeneous and situations vary between and within Member States. These differences mean there is a need for focus and a strategic approach when using available EU funds. This must be based most importantly on initiatives from those living in rural areas.
The EESC opinion provides input to the Commission's proposal for a Regulation on the definition, presentation and labelling of spirit drinks, the use of the names of spirit drinks in the presentation and labelling of other foodstuffs and the protection of geographical indications for spirit drinks.
Over recent years, there has been a shift in bargaining power in the food supply chain, mostly to the advantage of the retail sector and some transnational companies and to the detriment of suppliers, in particular primary producers. The concentration of bargaining power has led to the abuse of positions of dominance causing weaker operators to become increasingly vulnerable to Unfair Trading Practices (UTPs). The opinion takes stock of the impact of UTPs, stresses the difficult position of the most vulnerable actors along the chain and calls for action at EU level to stop UTPs and promote a fairer food supply chain.