Agriculture and Fisheries Council: extracts from the arrivals and doorsteps
Lieu: Brussels, Belgium - Council / Justus Lipsius
End production: 19/03/2013 First transmission: 19/03/2013
The Council meeting is devoted mostly to agricultural issues. Ministers try to agree a general approach on the reform of the common agricultural policy (CAP). A general approach is a political agreement reached within the Council on legislative proposals before the European Parliament has determined its own position on the issue. Once the Parliament’s position is established, the Council and the Parliament will begin negotiations in order to find an agreement in co-decision on the CAP reform. The legislative CAP reform package consists of four regulations concerning:
− support for rural development by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development. This regulation covers voluntary measures for rural development, adapted to national and regional specificities, whereby member states draw up and co-finance with the EU multiannual programmes under a common framework;
− rules for direct payments to farmers under support schemes within the framework of the common agricultural policy. The regulation seeks to better target support to certain actions, areas or beneficiaries, as well as to pave the way for convergence of the support level within and across member states;
− the financing, management and monitoring of the common agricultural policy. This “horizontal” regulation lays down the rules on expenditure, the farm advisory system, the management and control systems to be put in place by member states, the cross-compliance system and the clearance of accounts;
− a common organisation of the markets in agricultural products (single CMO regulation). The regulation aims at streamlining, expanding and simplifying current provisions on public intervention, private storage, exceptional or emergency measures and aid to specific sectors, as well as facilitating cooperation through producer and interbranch organisations.
Only the original language version is authentic and it prevails in the event of its differing from the translated versions.
||Arrival and SOUNDBITE (in French) by Dacian Ciolos, Member of the EC in charge of Agriculture and Rural Development: I hope a compromise from the Council to get a negotiation mandate. We have a meeting with the Ministers at midday, normally the Irish presidency should present today a text asking the support of the Ministers to adopt the negotiation mandate.
||Arrival of Simon Coveney, Minister for Agriculture, Marine and Food of Ireland
||SOUNDBITE (in English) by Simon Coveney: What we need to do is trying to put a package together that everybody can live with, so for some countries, like Ireland for example, direct payments and internal convergence is a key issue and for other countries is not such a big issue because they already have payments but they may have another key issues around greening, around sugar quotes, around young farmers, wherever their issue is. So what we try to do is accommodate key concerns and in that way if you like satisfy all countries that have something significant in these changes and at the same time accepting that other countries may also need to get things that are also significant that not everybody is comfortable with, but people feel that they can leave with in the context of political agreement. The political challenge for me here is to ensure that every country feels that their key concerns have been taken in account of, but in an effort to do that they have to understand that they will need to accept things that they don't particularly like and so we are trying to play those interests of against each other as best as we can.
||Arrival of Ilse Aigner, German Federal Minister for Food, Agriculture and Consumer Protection
||Arrival of Mario Catania, Italian Minister of Agriculture, Food and Forestry
||Arrival of Jari Koskine, Finnish Minister for Agriculture and Forestry
||Arrival and SOUNDBITE (in Spanish) by Miguel Arias Cañete, Spanish Minister of Agriculture, Food and Environment saying that: Yesterday was a busy day. Besides the general debate we take the opportunity of making bilateral meetings with the major agricultural countries and get agreement with Germany, France, Poland and Italy. The most important bilateral meetings were with the European Commission where Spain raised three key priorities and eight accessories. There is still no agreement at the Council level. There are different blocks. Countries that later joined the European Union have specific problems and mainly there are countries that abandoned the single payment system and went to a regionalized and do not want that countries that are defending very differentiated agriculture as Spain would have the flexibility to support internal convergence of transfers of funds between other farmers are more limited and would have coupled payments to support specific sectors in need as the livestock sector.
||Arrival of Sharon Dijksma, Dutch Minister for Agriculture
||Arrival of Stephane Le Foll, French Minister for Agriculture and Fisheries
||Arrival and SOUNDBITE (in Swedish) of Eskil Erlandsson, Swedish Minister for fisheries