EU Accession

Environment Food and Rural Affairs written question – answered on 4th May 2004.

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Photo of Andrew George Andrew George Shadow Minister (Environment, Food and Rural Affairs), Shadow Minister (Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what representations she has made to (a) the European Commission and (b) her counterparts in the EU accession countries on the ability of those countries to meet EU (i) animal slaughter and (ii) food hygiene regulations by 1 May.

Photo of Alun Michael Alun Michael Minister of State (Rural Affairs), Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

The Secretary of State and her ministerial team have used every opportunity to stress to the European Commission and to the Secretary of State's counterparts in the EU Accession Countries the importance of complying with the EU acquis communautaire (the rules and regulations laid down by the European Union), and in particular the veterinary and phytosanitary acquis which covers areas such as food hygiene and animal slaughter. Over the last year, ministerial teams have met with colleagues from the Czech Republic, Hungary, Malta, Poland and Slovakia. The UK has also been offering practical help, for example via the Commission's Food and Veterinary Office (FVO).

All New member states have undertaken to meet the EU acquis communautaire in these areas. Some Transition Periods have been granted—as has been the case for all previous Accessions—and will begin on the 1 May, on the basis that they are time-limited.

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