The Commission of the European Communities held a round-table discussion on the European Community's regulatory framework for biotechnology on 28.9.1993. The aim of the meeting was to have an open exchange of views on this subject. Participants were invited from a variety of backgrounds, including industry, trades unions, consumer groups, environmentalists and scientists. Basic principles underlying the regulatory framework were outlined. The Commission gave an overview of developments relating to the Directives on contained use of genetically modified microorganisms (GMOs) (90/219/EEC) and the Directive on deliberate release of GMOs into the environment (90/220/EEC) together with a description of developments in product legislation. During the discussion which followed, a frank and wide ranging exchange of views took place, which the Commission considers as valuable input to its future work in these fields. David Williamson, Secretary-General of the European Commission and Chairman of its Biotechnology Coordination Committee, concluded that legislators face a challenging task in setting up an adequate regulatory framework. The Commission's main priorities at present are to arrive at the full implementation of legislation already on the statute book, and to act within the existing framework to simplify procedures where possible. In so doing the Commission will continue to carry out the policy commitments set out in its 1991 communication on competitiveness for biotechnological industries.
Policy making and guidelines
8 September 1993