The Community Plant Variety Office (CPVO) is responsible for the management of the Community Plant Variety Rights System. This system provides protection with an intellectual property right for new plant varieties on European Community level. The system, based on the 1991 act of the UPOV Convention, became operational in 1995 and has seen a steady growth of the number of applications.

In managing the system, the CPVO fulfils the mandate of Council Regulation (EC) N°2100/94 of 27 July 1994. The core task of the CPVO is processing of and taking decisions on applications for Community plant variety rights. Furthermore, the CPVO either directly or by its Administrative Council, advises the Community institutions, Council and/or Commission, and the EU Member States on Plant Variety Rights legislation and related policy areas. The CPVO furthers effective plant variety protection through awareness raising activities designed to foster respect for plant variety rights and encourage the development of enforcement tools. In UPOV, the International Union for the Protection of Varieties of Plants, the CPVO plays a prominent role. It also supports research and development activities aimed at improvement of DUS testing methods.

Also in respect of the implementation of its other tasks the CPVO has, under the control of its Administrative Council, to a large extent, discretionary powers. All tasks of the CPVO should be exercised in a transparent and accountable way. This Strategic Plan is intended to serve that purpose by defining the mission, the stakeholders, the guiding principles and the strategic and management goals of the CPVO.