Agriculture and Fisheries Council (press conference EU Presidency / Commission): extracts from the press conference EU Presidency / Commission (recorded at 8h45)
Première transmission: 20/11/2008
Brussels, Belgium - Council/Justus Lipsius
Fin de production: 20/11/2008
The EU Ministers for Agriculture reached an agreement on the "health check" that introduces changes to modernise and simplify the Common Agricultural Policy.
They agreed to increase modulation, whereby direct payments to farmers are reduced and the money transferred to the Rural Development Fund.
The agreement increases milk quotas gradually by 1% every year leading up to their abolition in 2015. For Italy, the 5% increase will be introduced immediately.
The goal is to better respond to the new challenges including climate change, the need for better water management, the protection of biodiversity and the production of green energy.
Only the original language version is authentic and it prevails in the event of its differing from the translated versions.
||Exterior view of the European Council building
||General view of the press conference room
||SOUNDBITE (French) by Michel Barnier, French Minister for Agriculture and Fisheries and President in office of the Council of the EU: The agreement was adopted quasi unanimously and there are many new elements that have been introduced in the final compromise, such as the additional modulation that goes from 6% to 5% which concerns now only one area with a level of 4%, and the co-financing goes to 75% and 90% for the convergence regions.
||SOUNDBITE (French) by Michel Barnier on milk quotas: As a French Minister but also as a President of the Council, I wouldn't allow the end of quotas without any precautions; when you look at the agreement, you will see that its management, its precautions and a limited increase of 1% per year, two reports in 2011 and 2012 to see the state of the markets, and intervention tools for the dairy products.
||SOUNDBITE (French) by Michel Barnier: We do have now a tool box that will allow us to protect farmers, to be fair between different producers, to really help those who really need it; it also allows us to go to the direction the EC wants regarding the greening of agriculture.
||SOUNDBITE (English) by Mariann Fischer Boel, Member of the EC in charge of Agriculture and Rural Development: I want to say, that for old Member States, there is an extension of the simplified system till 2013, an extension of the cross compliance, and recognition from the so-called old Member States that there was not a total fair level playing field and therefore we provided a 90 million for topping up the cuts on the basis of article 68.
||SOUNDBITE (English) Mariann Fischer Boel: For the old member states, certainly I think that we managed to improve the possibilities for the European agriculture to meet the new challenges and to be prepared for the challenges for 2013; if we had failed, the loser would have been the European Union's agricultural sector.
||SOUNDBITE (English) by Mariann Fischer Boel: It's extremely important that we have now shown that there is majority to say that there is a reason for asking a bit more from the biggest.