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Document 32015D0602(01)

Commission Decision of 1 June 2015 establishing the High Level Forum for a better functioning food supply chain

OJ C 179, 2.6.2015, p. 3–6 (BG, ES, CS, DA, DE, ET, EL, EN, FR, HR, IT, LV, LT, HU, MT, NL, PL, PT, RO, SK, SL, FI, SV)

Date of entry into force unknown (pending notification) or not yet in force., Date of effect: 01/01/1001

2.6.2015   

EN

Official Journal of the European Union

C 179/3


COMMISSION DECISION

of 1 June 2015

establishing the High Level Forum for a better functioning food supply chain

(2015/C 179/03)

THE EUROPEAN COMMISSION,

Having regard to the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union,

Whereas:

(1)

Article 173(1) of the Treaty assigned the Union and the Member States the task of ensuring that the conditions necessary for the competitiveness of Union industry exist, in particular by encouraging an environment favourable to cooperation between undertakings. Article 173(2) in particular calls upon the Member States to consult each other in liaison with the Commission and, where necessary, to coordinate their actions in the area of industry. The Commission may take any useful initiative to promote such coordination.

(2)

In 2010, the Commission set up an expert group, the High Level Forum for a better functioning food supply chain (hereinafter ‘the Forum’) with the aim of assisting the Commission with the development of a solid industrial policy in the agri-food sector by following the recommendation of the High Level Group on the Competitiveness of the Agro-Food Industry and implementing the initiatives set out in the communication ‘A better functioning food supply chain in Europe’ of 2009.

(3)

Until 2014, the High Level Forum for a better functioning Food Supply Chain contributed to an extensive analysis of the major factors determining the competitiveness of the whole food supply chain by adopting a holistic approach. It acknowledged the need for consistency between all policy areas affecting the Union food chain and notably on: agriculture, food safety, nutrition and health, environment, trade, financial markets, research and innovation, and industrial policy more generally.

(4)

In its final report of 15 October 2014, the 47 members of the Forum unanimously asked the Commission to issue the Forum with a new mandate to continue the constructive dialogue among European private and public stakeholders about key policy issues, as well as new challenges, affecting the competitiveness of the whole food supply chain.

(5)

The final report provides for recommendations which point to different topics to be the matter for further discussions and initiatives in the next Forum, such as competitiveness and small and medium-sized enterprises; business-to-business trading practices; internal market; market access; sustainability; social dimension; innovation; prices. Other subjects of relevance to the competitiveness of the food supply chain might also be at the centre of the activities of the Forum in the future.

(6)

The work of the Forum should therefore continue.

(7)

The membership of the Forum should be open to national authorities from all Member States to facilitate exchanges of good practice; relevant stakeholders of industry and civil society, in particular representatives of consumers, trade unions and non-governmental organisations. The representation of private organisations should be established on the basis of a public call for application to ensure a balanced representation of stakeholders.

(8)

Rules on disclosure of information by members of the Forum should be provided for, without prejudice to the Commission’s rules on security as set out in the Annex to Commission Decision 2001/844/EC, ECSC, Euratom (1).

(9)

Personal data should be processed in accordance with Regulation (EC) No 45/2001 of the European Parliament and of the Council (2).

(10)

It is appropriate to fix a period for the application of this Decision. The Commission will in due time consider the advisability of an extension,

HAS DECIDED AS FOLLOWS:

Article 1

Subject matter

A High Level Forum for a Better Functioning Food Supply Chain, hereinafter ‘the Forum’, is hereby set up with effect from the date of adoption of the present Decision.

Article 2

Tasks

The Forum shall assist the Commission with the development of industrial policy in the agro-food sector and with the development of related policy measures which contribute to a better functioning food supply chain. For this purpose, and based on the recommendations of the final report of the Forum adopted on 15 October 2014, it shall focus discussions on relevant topics such as:

competiveness of the food chain and SMEs,

business-to-business trading practices,

internal market,

market access and trade,

sustainability,

social dimension,

innovation,

prices,

future challenges influencing the competitiveness of the food supply chain.

Article 3

Consultation

The Commission may also consult the Forum regarding any other issue linked to the functioning of the food supply chain in the internal market, in order to draw up new recommendations.

Article 4

Composition — Appointment

1.   The Forum shall be composed of not more than 50 members.

2.   The Forum shall comprise the following members:

(a)

Member State national authorities responsible for the food sector at ministerial level;

(b)

organisations actively involved in the agro-food industry, and in the trade and distribution of agro-food products in the Union;

(c)

EU umbrella associations and federations representing agriculture, food processing industry and trade and distribution of agro-food products in the Union;

(d)

non-governmental organisations with expertise in matters relating to the food supply chain.

3.   Member States national authorities shall nominate their representative in the preparatory group referred to in Article 5(2).

The other members shall be appointed by the Director-General of the Directorate-General for Internal market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs from organisations with competence in the areas referred to in Article 2 and Article 3 and who have responded to the call for applications. Those organisations shall nominate their representatives in the Forum and in the preparatory group referred to in Article 5(2).

The Commission may refuse a representative nominated by an organisation if it considers, on the basis of justified grounds specified in the rules of procedures of the group, that the nomination is not appropriate. In such cases, the organisation concerned shall be asked to nominate another representative.

4.   Members shall be appointed for the entire period of applicability of this Decision. They shall remain in office until such time as they are replaced in accordance with paragraph 5 or until their term of office ends.

5.   Members may be replaced for the remainder of their term of office in any of the following cases:

(a)

where they resign;

(b)

where they are no longer in a position to contribute effectively to the work of the Forum;

(c)

where they do not comply with Article 339 of the Treaty.

6.   The names of the members shall be published on the website of the Directorate-General for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs and in the Register of Commission Expert Groups and Other Similar Entities (hereinafter, ‘the Register’)

Members’ names shall be collected, managed and published in accordance with Regulation (EC) No 45/2001.

Article 5

Functioning

1.   The Forum shall be chaired by a representative of the Commission. It shall produce a final report on its activities, addressed to the Commission.

2.   A preparatory group, hereinafter the ‘sherpa group’, shall prepare debates, position papers and opinions with a view to producing the Forum’s final report. The sherpa group shall be composed of high representatives of each member of the Forum. It shall be chaired by a representative of the Commission.

3.   In agreement with the Commission services, the Forum may set up sub-groups to examine specific issues under a mandate defined by the Forum or the sherpa group. Such sub-groups shall be dissolved as soon as their mandates are fulfilled.

4.   The representative of the Commission may ask experts with specific competence in a subject on the agenda to participate in the work of the Forum, the sherpa group or the sub-groups on an ad hoc basis. In addition, the representative of the Commission may give observer status to individuals, organisations as defined in Rule 8(3) of the horizontal rules on expert groups and candidate countries.

5.   Meetings of the Forum, the sherpa group and the sub-groups shall generally be held on Commission premises. The Commission shall provide secretarial services. Other Commission officials with an interest in the proceedings may attend meetings of the Forum, the sherpa group and sub-groups.

6.   Members of the Forum, their representatives in the sherpa group and sub-groups, as well as invited experts and observers shall comply with the professional secrecy obligations laid down by the Treaties and their implementing rules, as well as with the security rules of the Commission regarding the protection of Union classified information, laid down in the Annex to Decision 2001/844/EC, ECSC, Euratom. Should they fail to respect these obligations, the Commission may take all appropriate measures.

7.   The Commission publishes, all relevant documents on the activities carried out by the Forum (such as agendas, minutes and participants’ submissions) either in the Register or via a link from the Register to a dedicated website. A document shall not be published when its disclosure would undermine the protection of a public or private interest as defined in Article 4 of Regulation (EC) No 1049/2001 of the European Parliament and of the Council (3).

Where necessary, the Commission may translate all or part of these documents into all official Union languages.

Article 6

Meeting expenses

1.   Participants in the activities of the Forum, the sherpa group and the sub-groups shall not be remunerated for the services they render.

2.   Travel and subsistence expenses incurred by participants in the activities of the Forum, the sherpa group and the sub-groups shall be reimbursed by the Commission in accordance with the provisions in force within the Commission.

3.   Those expenses shall be reimbursed within the limits of the available appropriations allocated under the annual procedure for the allocation of resources.

Article 7

Applicability

This Decision shall expire on 31 December 2019.

Done at Brussels, 1 June 2015.

For the Commission

Elżbieta BIEŃKOWSKA

Member of the Commission


(1)  Commission Decision 2001/844/EC, ECSC, Euratom of 29 November 2001 amending its internal Rules of Procedure (OJ L 317, 3.12.2001, p. 1).

(2)  Regulation (EC) No 45/2001 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 18 December 2000 on the protection of individuals with regard to the processing of personal data by the Community institutions and bodies and on the free movement of such data (OJ L 8, 12.1.2001, p. 1).

(3)  Regulation (EC) No 1049/2001 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 30 May 2001 regarding public access to European Parliament, Council and Commission documents (OJ L 145, 31.5.2001, p. 43).


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