EuropaBio’s National Associations Council convenes in Brussels
National biotechnology associations came together on 9 March in Brussels for the spring meeting of the EuropaBio’s National Associations Council (NAC). Discussions focused on recent developments on biotech topics at the European level. On the topic of medical biotechnology, the EU Commission is currently reviewing whether a clarification of the term “significant benefit” is needed in relation to the EU Orphan Drug Regulation. The meeting participants discussed EuropaBio’s statement regarding the EU Commission’s consultation. On the topic of industrial biotechnology, EuropaBio members are currently addressing the EU proposal for a circular economy package. The aim is to incorporate bioeconomy into this proposal to ensure that the environmental compatibility and the benefits of biotech production are given due consderation. On the topic of plant biotechnology, representatives from the national associations reported that they succeeding in bringing attention to problems with approval procedures of the EFSA and the EU Commission through a complaint lodged with the European Ombudsman. Participants also discussed the status of the EU Commission’s evaluation of new breeding techniques. It had originally planned to present its evaluation of the eight new methods at the end of 2015, but has since pushed back the completion date of the evaluation to the second quarter of 2016. Last but not least, NAC members discussed the European Biotech Week 2016, to be held in the final weeks of September, and EuropaBio’s 20-year anniversary celebration, planned to take place on 16 November.