8 December 2023
At a conference at the European Parliament – organized by SEED Luxemburg, the Greens/EFA and the Seeds4All project in the context of the reform of the European legislative framework on seed marketing – our Senior Research Fellow Dr Christophe Golay discussed the compatibility of the draft law proposed by the European Commission with the international legal framework protecting the right to food and the rights of peasants.
In his intervention, Dr Golay highlighted that while the proposal presents possibilities for diversifying the seed market, its current form falls short of acknowledging, safeguarding and fulfilling the right to seeds as protected in article 19 of the United Nations Declaration on the rights of peasants and other people working in rural areas (UNDROP).
This intervention builds on a commentary, produced by the Geneva Academy that analyses the extent to which the obligations of the EU and its Member States under UNDROP’s article 19 are included in the European Commission's proposal to reform seed marketing laws.
‘Unless amended, this new European regulation on seeds will not be in line with EU member states’ human rights obligations that take precedence over other international law obligations in the fields of trade, investment, agriculture or intellectual property’ explains Dr Golay.
‘There is still time to address these shortcomings and we will continue to push for amendments and accompany this process with dedicated research to avoid this backlash’ he adds.
‘While the adoption of UNDROP represented a milestone to protect the rights of peasants, we now work to ensure that legislations at regional and national levels are in line with it’ underlines Dr Golay.
At a conference at the European Parliament, our Senior Research Fellow Dr Christophe Golay discussed the compatibility of the draft law proposed by the European Commission with the international legal framework protecting the right to food and the rights of peasants.
In its last session, the United Nations (UN) Human Rights Council (HRC). created an international monitoring mechanism on the rights of peasants and other people working in rural areas.
After having provided academic support to the negotiation of the UN Declaration for ten years, this research project focuses on the implementation of the UN Declaration on the rights of peasants and other people working in rural areas.
The project will notably identify the main opportunities and obstacles to protect the right to seeds in Europe. It will also discuss how to promote changes in European laws, policies and trade agreements to ensure that they do not infringe, but facilitate the realization of peasants’ right to seeds.