b'SHALL WE GIVE IT A NEW TRY?A NEW SEED LAW FOR EUROPEOR THEN AGAIN NOT BY: GARLICH VON ESSENB y the time the European Commission will present its legis-lative proposals to amend the current EU regulatory frame-work for plant variety registration and seed marketing, almost 10 years will have passed since its last and unsuccessful attempt of a comprehensive overhaul of the system. So the logical first question to ask is why? Why is it that the executive sees the need to give it another try, despite the rather negative recep-tion its ideas received from some stakeholders and, ultimately, the European Parliament back in 2013/14? REASONS FOR A SECOND TRYOne good reason clearly is that some of the practical issues trig-gering the original review remained valid. One could call it unfin-ished business. This is true for the practical alignment of the seed marketing rules with the new EU Plant Health Regulation as well as with the Official Controls Regulation. All were part of the same Better Regulation package in 2013 and the rejection of the specific part on seed marketing has created a number of practical problems of inconsistency and lack of clarity for operators as well as administrations that now should finally be resolved. In addition, several issues developed further in the meantime which created new challenges or opportunities. This would be true, for example, regarding the use of advanced technology in variety testing, data management for automatic listing of newly accepted varieties on the EUs Common Catalogue, or simply the positive practical experience gained with the extended involvement of the sector in quality assurance. Moreover, seed markets develop over time and there is a clear interest in the industry and from seed users to extend the assurance the system brings to new, additional spe-cies. It is probably fair to assume that these (and more) practical and rather technical reasons were important drivers behind the Member States insistence that the Commission must resume its legislative work in this area. It is equally fair to state that all those valid, good reasons neither caused the failure of the original initiative nor triggered much enthusiasm on the side of the Commission to give it another go. In fact, in the run-up to the discussion by Agricultural Ministers to pass a Council Decision, which is practically a politi-cal order to the Commission to start a review process, the execu-tive itself had considered such initiative unnecessary. Now, some one and a half years later and following a rather limited consulta-12IEUROPEAN SEEDIEUROPEAN-SEED.COM'