The Slovenia Times

Slovenia, Hungary to Cooperate in GMO Legislation


As Slovenia supports Hungary's initiative, Židan and Fazekas discussed ways to cooperate in the implementation of new EU rules for the growing of genetically modified organisms (GMOs).

The rules enable EU members to limit or ban the growing of GMOs on their territory, even if this is allowed at EU level. A ban is possible not only for health or environmental reasons, but also for socio-economic reasons.

The two ministers agreed to make a joint call to national coordinators in this field to cooperate and inform each other in the drafting of national legislation, for instance by exchanging draft documents.

Židan also pointed to the informal announcement that the European Commission could propose similar rules for the use of GMOs, saying that this opened up a series of questions, including consequences for the single market.

Židan and Fazekas further discussed Slovenia's campaign promoting the importance of honeybees in the form of a honey-dominated breakfast. Hungary has supported the idea by organising honey breakfasts in a number of primary schools.

Židan invited the Hungarian counterpart to visit an event in the Slovenian pavilion at the Milan Expo on 20 May dedicated to honey bees and promoting the Slovenian initiative to declare a world day of bees.

The Slovenian minister also took the opportunity of the ministerial to hold informal talks about the initiative with ministers and representatives of EU institutions. Slovenia will officially present the initiative at the EU agriculture ministerial in May.

Meanwhile, the ministerial discussed financial instruments for the funding of agriculture and development of rural areas with loans from the European Investment Bank (EIB), with Židan announcing the government would closely examine the model and potential risks in cooperation with the farm sector.

If the new instrument will not reduce grants in the rural development programme, then Židan expects it will get wide support. If part of the grants will need to serve as guarantee for the loan, then he expects serious debate on whether to use it.

He explained that most European countries do not have experience with such financing, which is why several conferences on the option will be held in the coming weeks and months, for instance in Vienna, Dublin, Riga and Barcelona.


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