The V4 prime ministers against the double food quality standards

2017. 03. 03.

On Thursday, at an extraordinary summit, the V4 heads of government discussed the differences of food labelling, taste and quality between western and eastern EU markets. According to Christian Democrat MEP (Fidesz-KDNP) György Hölvényi, it is high time that the European Commission took legal steps to halt production practices that violate the rights of Central and Eastern European consumers.

In recent years, MEPs of the new Member States have frequently raised the question of food being sold in the EU at two, different quality standards. The problem is caused by producers selling products of inferior quality – primarily in eastern Member States – under the same brand name, negatively discriminating against those consumers.

In the summer of 2015, together with fellow MEPs, György Hölvényi, member of the EP’s Environment, Public Health and Food Safety Committee, called this issue to the attention of the European Commission with a written declaration and urged legal measures to protect the Single Market. Apropos of the V4’s announcement, the Christian Democrat MEP recalled that thus far, despite the warnings of numerous European political and professional bodies, the Commission has given only evasive answers.

According to the EPP Group politician, it is clear that the amendment of laws and the setup of appropriate frameworks are needed in order to resolve the situation. The extraordinary V4 summit has provided a new push to solving the problem, which is also confirmed by fresh data. A recent investigation by Hungarian National Food Chain Safety Office (also known as Nébih) found that the same products by the same companies have an inferior quality to their western counterparts. In light of this additional information, György Hölvényi has submitted once again a written question to the European Commission.