The European Coexistence Bureau (ECoB) contributes to the implementation of the European Agriculture Council Conclusions of 22 May 2006, requesting the European Commission to conduct further work in the area of coexistence, amongst other issues to:
- Identify, in close co-operation with the Member States and stakeholders, best practice for technical segregation measures and, on the basis of this work, develop guidelines for crop-specific measures. At the same time, ensure that the crop-specific guidelines leave the necessary flexibility for Member States to take account of their regional and local factors (share of different crops in cultivation, crop rotations, field sizes, etc).
- Explore with Member Sates possible ways of minimizing potential cross-border problems related to coexistence.
- Explore sustainable solutions, which are in line with EU law, for areas where agricultural structures and farming conditions are such that farm level coexistence is difficult to achieve for a given crop.
The ECoB has been established jointly by the Directorate General for Agriculture and Rural Development and the Joint Research Centre (JRC) of the European Commission at the JRC's Institute for Prospective Technological Studies (IPTS), Seville, Spain.
Its mission is to organise the exchange of technical-scientific information on best agricultural management practices for coexistence and, on the basis of this process, develop consensus agreed crop-specific guidelines for coexistence measures.
Such Best Practice Documents will be developed on a crop-by-crop basis, initially focussing on crop cultivation, to assist Member States in the development or refinement of national or regional approaches to coexistence. The Best Practice Documents will be made publicly available on this website.
The ECoB consists of a Secretariat, responsible for the scientific, technical and administrative management of the ECoB and crop-specific Technical Working Groups (TWGs) comprised of technical representatives of Member States.
Stakeholders will be consulted on the Best Practice Documents in draft stage in particular via relevant Advisory Groups managed by the European Commission.
A detailed mandate outlining the function, structure and operation of the ECoB can be found here.