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EU Food Law: What’s on the Menu?

Monday, 5 May, 2014 - 12:00 to Monday, 5 May, 2014 - 14:00
Campus: Brussels Humanities, Sciences & Engineering campus
Karel Van Miert Building
Rome Conference room (-1)
Institute for European Studies
Pleinlaan 5, 1050 Brussel
Policy Forum

A new Food Think Tank is being launched at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB), bringing together researchers interested in food from a wide range of disciplines. The VUB Food Think Tank, currently led by members of the Law, Science, Technology and Society (LSTS) and Social and Cultural Food Studies (FOST), and collaborating with the Institute for European Studies (IES), aims to gather perspectives, and to nurture discussions on issues related to the current and future challenges of food.

The EU Food Law: What’s on the Menu? Policy Fora kicks off the discussions with three events that focus on key issues being debated at European level. Before the end of the European Union’s political cycle 2009-2014, the European Commission is namely stepping forward with the following pivotal food-related initiatives:

  • A legislative proposal on novel food, aiming at improving access of new and innovative food to the EU market, while maintaining a high level of consumer protection (December 2013).
  • A legislative proposal on organic food and farming aiming at simplifying the existing legislation to boost competitiveness of operators in this sector (March 2014).
  • A Communication dealing with the broad and complex relationship between food and the environment, tackling food waste and presenting other policy options for more sustainably in the food chain (foreseen for May 2014).

The Policy Fora will convene policy makers, stakeholders and academics to stimulate interdisciplinary exchanges, and consider the many questions raised by the initiatives on the table, such as:

  • What sort of progress is expected for the food sector both in terms of innovation and of environmental standards?
  • Is the high level of consumer protection effectively maintained?
  • Will the goal of simplification of the current legislation be achieved?
  • Will the competitiveness of European food operators, and especially SMEs, be enhanced? 


5 May 2014, 12:00-14:00: Novel Food

Chair: Harri Kalimo (IES)
Moderator: Jens Karsten (Lawyer at bxl-law, Brussels)
Panellists: Sirkku Heinimaa (European Commission, Directorate General Health and Consumer Protection), Frédéric Leroy (VUB), Phillipe Mortier (Belgian Ministry of Health).

More information can be found here.

12 May 2014, 12:00-14:00: Organic Farming

Chair: Peter Scholliers (FOST)
Moderator: Stéphanie Pelet-Serra (Lawyer at Alinea, Avocats à la Cour, Brussels)
Panellists: Maria-Giulia Medico (European Commission, Directorate General Agriculture), Tom Troonbeeckx (Het Open Veld), Hannes Lorenzen (Agricultural adviser of the Greens in the EP– tbc)

More information can be found here.

2 June 2014, 12:00-14:00: Sustainable Food

Chair and moderator: Serge Gutwirth (LSTS)
Panellists: Olivier de Schutter (United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food), Benjamin Caspar (European Commission, Directorate General Environment), Piet Vanthemsche (Boerenbond)

More information can be found here.

Registration & Venue

The lectures will take place from 12:00 - 14:00 at the premises of the Institute for European Studies. Participation is free of charge, but registration is required. Please register here.

Karel Van Miert Building
Conference Room Rome
Pleinlaan 5
1050 Brussels
[Map & Directions]


Dr. Gloria González Fuster
Research Group on Law, Science, Technology & Society (LSTS)
Vrije Universiteit Brussel

Ms. Jacintha Liem (Logistics)
Events Manager
+32 2 614 80 02
Institute for European Studies