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Transpartisan mobilization at the French National Assembly in favour of mirror measures and an upward harmonization of standards

Stéphanie Kpenou, 5 February 2024

[English] [français]

Putting the greening of European agriculture on hold is not the right response to the problems facing farmers and consumers. To overcome the current impasse, the effective implementation of mirror measures is an essential prerequisite for achieving the agricultural and food objectives of the European Green Deal.

On February 2, Socialist MP Dominique Potier introduced a draft European resolution on mirror measures. The transpartisan text, co-signed by 70 MPs from 7 political groups (Socialists, Communists, Ecologists, LIOT, Modem et Indépendants, Renaissance, Horizons), demonstrates that the cultural battle for mirror measures is now a won one. In the context of the crisis affecting the agricultural sector in France and Europe, mirror measures appear to be one of the essential tools for promoting agro-ecological transition and ending competitive distortions caused by differences in production standards between EU and non-EU products in terms of health and the environment.

However, the principle of reciprocity of standards must be concretely implemented at the European level. And this is the whole purpose of the draft resolution, which calls on the government to actively push this issue before the European Commission, and in particular :

  • Immediately eliminate import tolerances on MRLs for all substances banned in the EU and lower MRLs to the limit of detection.
  • Reverse the burden of proof for economic operators importing into the EU.
  • Apply a reciprocity principle to prohibit the export of plant protection products banned in the EU.
  • Defend before the Commission the effective implementation and enforcement of existing mirror measures: for example, the adoption of delegated acts implementing the ban on imports of meat from animals treated with growth-promoting antibiotics or the follow-up and implementation of recommendations from audits carried out by DG Health in third countries.
  • Encourage a process of harmonization in the implementation of environmental standards between EU member states.
  • Examine the possibility of using indications of origin.

The Veblen Institute is glad that its work and numerous exchanges with political representatives on the issue of mirror measures have resulted in this broad mobilization. The subject must become a key element in the next European mandate to strengthen the implementation of the European Green Deal. Adopting such a resolution during the European election campaign should encourage the French government to influence the European agenda in this direction.

The text of the resolution (in french) can be found here

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