Food Law News - EU - 2000
15 February 2000: BEEF - Commission opens infringement against Germany for refusal to lift British beef embargo
Commission Press Release (IP/00/162), 15 February 2000
Commission opens infringement against Germany for refusal to lift British beef embargo
The European Commission has decided today to initiate formal legal proceedings against Germany for not lifting the embargo on British beef. The Commission considers that Germany has not fulfilled its obligations under Council Decision 98/256/EC and Commission Decision 99/514/EC relating to lifting the embargo. As the first step in the infringement proceedings, David Byrne, Health and Consumer Protection Commissioner, will be asking the German Government to submit its position shortly after 17th of March. If the Commission does not get a satisfactory response by that time it may decide to send Germany a 'reasoned opinion' requesting that the alleged violation be brought to an end. The Commission, nevertheless, remains hopeful that a non-litigious outcome can be reached. Speaking after the Commission meeting in Strasbourg, David Byrne, Commissioner for Health and Consumer Protection said, "I have had constructive contacts with the German Government and the signs are positive. However, I must ensure that EU law is respected, particularly given the long delay in Germany's response to lifting the ban on British beef. We can, however, clearly avoid a legal confrontation if Germany complies quickly with the law."
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