EuropaBio Contribution to the Consultation on Smart Regulation

25.06.2010

EuropaBio Contribution to the Consultation on Smart Regulation

EuropaBio believes that Better Regulation is crucial for the biotech industry if Europe is toachieve the ambitious growth objectives set out in the EU Strategy for 2020. As an industry, we believe we must seize this opportunity to make the strategy a reality by creating supportive, facilitating regulation that encourages and stimulates responsible innovation to help people lead longer, healthier and greener lives. Biotechnology will play a key role in providing for the healthcare needs of our aging population whilst meeting market demands and reducing the impact on our environment. Better regulation will help to ensure that new technologies come to market in time to make a difference to today’s and tomorrow’s Europeans whilst reducing our carbon footprint and mitigating the impacts of climate change. However, shaping future smart regulation will require decisive action and bold regulatory moves.

EuropaBio strongly believes that the EU needs to lessen the regulatory burden on innovative industries. For example, the regulatory approval process in Europe has made European farmers less competitive globally. Around 50 GM products are awaiting approval in the EU, 18 of which are for cultivation. When European farmers are allowed access to GM crops, the evidence shows that they tend to choose to grow them.

However, whilst a target of a 25% reduction in administrative burden is ambitious and in principle positive, we need to ensure that this is achieved in the most appropriate manner. A reduction for the sake of reduction only might not necessarily be useful to stakeholders, because the regulation still needs to cater to the specific needs of specific industries – a good example is biotech SMEs, who do not fit the ‘mold’ of many other categories of SMEs, and therefore need a framework appropriate to the specific needs, rather than a (simpler) ‘one size fits all approach’.

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