Update on the European School Milk Scheme
On 11th April, the European Council of Ministers approved the proposal to merge the European School Milk Scheme with the European Fruit and Vegetables Scheme. The UK abstained from the vote, whilst the Netherlands and Hungary voted against it. The Alliance contacted Defra, which explained the UK abstained as it disagreed that certain legal powers relating to funding should lie with the Council and the Parliament rather than just with the Council, as this might set a precedent in the future. Defra outlined that there is “no question” that the UK will participate in the revised scheme, and that had the vote been closer, then the UK may not have voted the same way.

All participating member states, including the UK, must now be required to draw up a national strategy for the scheme’s implementation in schools from August 2017. Defra noted that it still plans to launch a full consultation with stakeholders in “late summer or before”, and that elements such as educational measures will also be looked at over the summer. The Alliance will continue to liaise with Defra on this issue.

The European Commission will draw up some of the finer aspects of the revised scheme over the coming months, such as the procedural arrangements for member states to develop an implementation strategy for the scheme. The Alliance will contact the Commission’s lead on school milk, Judit Krommer, to find out more information on its plans for delegated acts.

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