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Functioning of the internal market in relation to the free movement of goods

EC evaluating Strawberry Regulation

The European Commission, and in particular the General Directorate for the Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs, has launched an analysis on the operation and application of Regulation (EC) No 2679/98 of the Council of 7 December 1998, known as the "Strawberry Regulation", which deals with the functioning of the internal market in relation to the free movement of goods between the Member States.

As part of this analysis, the Commission has launched a public consultation to ensure that all opinions are heard, not just those of the organizations directly affected by Regulation (EU) No 2679/98, but also of wider groups and of the general public.

The survey can be accessed via the following link:

Basically, Regulation 2679/98 provides a rapid information and intervention mechanism for the European Commission in situations where the free movement of goods is prevented through actions carried out by individuals. The Regulation establishes the Member States' obligation to protect free movement in the event of any obstacle or disturbance, either by act or omission.

The "Strawberry Regulation" was approved in December 1998 after repeated incidents that caused significant losses, especially to the Spanish fruit and vegetable sector. The dumping of shipments of Spanish fruit, mainly strawberries, which gave the Regulation its nickname, happened often between 1993 and 1997. There were also frequent blockades of French roads during the various strikes of truck drivers, with those that took place in 1996, 1997 and 1998 being particularly remarkable.

For the same reasons, the Spanish-French Mixed Fruit and Vegetable Committee was set up in 1997. This committee consists of government representatives and French and Spanish producers and its aim was to facilitate dialogue and provide a professional exchange forum. In the opinion of FEPEX, this is now consolidated as an instrument for the joint defence of the fruit and vegetable sector before the EU.


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