18 I EUROPEAN SEED I EUROPEAN-SEED.COM ES The CPVO is one of the most successful organisations within the EU and had to decrease the fees from time to time. How do you explain the great success of the CPVO What aspects should other EU organisations copy to be as successful ME The success of the CPVO is due to a mixture of devoted staff and open dialogue with the seed sector and other stakeholders. I think that keeping focused on the core activities of the CPVO was a major contribu- tor to our success. Having said that I see various areas where the CPVO could in the future expand its remit to do important work in related fields without jeopardising the efficiency of the PVR system. We are ever conscious of the need to provide an excellent ser- vice at the lowest possible cost. Reduction of CPVO fees is a choice we proactively work towards. This policy has resulted in consistent fee reductions. The CPVO AC has also sought approval from the European Commission to reduce the online application fee next year a reduction which we expect to benefit more than 75 per cent of our clients and will encourage others to use our online service. However there is one area in which fees have not been reduced technical examination fees. I think that fees for technical examinations are fair but I am conscious of the need to keep them at a reasonable level. However costs vary depending on the species in question and it is important to reflect on how best to keep costs at reasonable levels for all species without jeopardising our standards. The use of bio molecular technology as sup- port tools in such examinations should be explored. The CPVO looks forward to working with stakeholders to find a solution that will benefit everyone and an open dialogue with the industry will be crucial in this respect. ES Have other organisations tried to copy the CPVO model Is CPVO providing support to such organisations ME The CPVO works with both the lOrganisation Africaine de la Proprit Intellectuelle OAPI and the Africa Regional Intellectual Property Organisation ARIPO. We are engaged in and enthusiastic about the work done by these organ- isations for the development and implementation of the plant variety rights system in their regions. The introduction of PVP in new regions is positive for the farmers of those regions who will profit from new better performing varieties. This is good news for local breeders as well as EU breeders who seek to trade on the global market. In particular we congratulate the recent accession of OAPI to UPOV a very important step for the West African region. We are cur- rently working with OAPI and other partners to assist OAPI to develop its regional system through training and exchange of expertise. We also congratulate ARIPO for the adoption of a Protocol for Protection of New Plant Varieties in ARIPO member states in July 2015. The CPVO actively participated in many ARIPO expert meetings which led to the adoption of this protocol in the years preceding. I witnessed the importance African politicians attach to improving agriculture and agricultural yields including the need to develop better performing varieties. The CPVO and the EO participate in workshops expert meetings and training sessions to assist the development of the ARIPO and OAPI regional systems. I relish the opportunity to share support and offer guidance to other regional PVP organisations that wish to follow in our steps. ES One can imagine that it would be good that other regions e.g. in Asia or South America would adopt a similar successful approach just like the CPVO. Are there any plans or attempts in this direction What would need to change to make this happen ME Many varieties protected under the EU system especially ornamentals have a strong demand outside the EU. It is in the interest of breeders that varieties protected under the umbrella of the EU system also have easy access to outside markets where their variety will be equally protected. Ultimately the development of PVP systems in other regions depends on the political will of governments stakeholders and civil society of those regions. The CPVO regularly participates in training courses organised by UPOV for South American countries as well as meetings and seminars organised by the East Asia PVP forum and the Asia and Pacific Seed Association APSA. The CPVO also welcomes visits from delegations from Asian countries interested in learning more about the EU regional system for PVP and has offered training for experts from South American countries. Where appropriate the CPVO highlights the advantages of the EU regional system enhanced cooperation amongst entrusted EO from different member states and the rele- vance of shared databases on which the CPVO has extensive experience. ES Besides Plant breeders rights applications the CPVO also engages in research projects. Why is this important and how is this to the benefit of the plant breeders ME Representing the largest PVP system in the world it is vital that the CPVO act as a leader by developing new and better tools to reduce the labour and costs associated with DUS tests. At the CPVO we balance a system based on the assessment of morphological characteristics with the ability to innovate and to adapt to technological advances. The projects we fund focus on the following areas DUS test- ing identification of varieties or organisation and management of reference collections. The CPVO selects projects which will have a concrete impact on the quality of DUS testing. In 2014 the CPVO AC revised the CPVOs RD strategy. The following were consid- ered as RD priorities The setup of shared online databases of reference collections available to CPVO entrusted EO. Use of bio molecular techniques for the management of refer- ence collections identification of reference materials enforce- ment and support of DUS assessment. Improvement and harmonization of methodologies and proce- dures included in the CPVO technical protocols. The CPVO would like to promote the use of molecular markers in DUS testing within the network of EO as well as shared databases of variety descriptions and administrative data. We hope that by supporting research on the use of new tools for testing we can ensure future cost reductions and improved DUS testing. We must seek support and embrace new developments in the field of PVP testing. Investment in viable RD projects is imperative for the future of the EU PVR system. THE INTRODUCTION OF PVP IN NEW REGIONS IS POSITIVE FOR THE FARMERS OF THOSE REGIONS WHO WILL PROFIT FROM NEW BETTER PERFORMING VARIETIES.