Rumen Porodzanov, Minister of Agriculture, Food and Forestry of Bulgaria (center). Photo: European Union
Agriculture Minister Rumen Porodzanov today steered a discussion on the future of the EU’s Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) during the first Agriculture and Fisheries Council under the Bulgarian Presidency. The discussion, the first of a series of debates on the future of the CAP to take place during the Bulgarian Presidency of the Council, was publicly broadcast online. This was not only a sign of transparency, but also a demonstration of the willingness of the Bulgarian Presidency to reach out to the widest possible number of stakeholders. The aim of the discussion is to provide Council guidance to help the Commission draft its legislative proposal on the future CAP.
Mr Porodzanov said: "The future of the CAP is not only the main priority of our presidency for the next six months, but also a key issue for our union as a whole. That is why we decided to hold all our debates in public. We want to engage in an open debate that will improve the future CAP and equip it with the right tools to be competitive and meet the challenge of sustainability".
Under the chairmanship of Mr Porodzanov, Member States agreed on the importance of CAP for everybody in the EU –EU citizens, EU farmers and society as a whole. To preserve the benefits it provides, the CAP has to remain an EU policy with adequate funding. Further flexibility and adaptability to national specificities and needs should not come at the cost of an increased administrative burden, distorted competition and delays in the reimbursement of direct payments, ministers agreed.
In the context of the meeting, Minister Porodzanov also presented the Bulgarian Presidency priorities. The Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development briefed the Ministers on the latest developments in the most important agricultural markets, in particular the dairy, sugar and pig meat markets, and on the state of play of trade-related agricultural issues, with a particular focus on the negotiations with Mexico and Mercosur and within the WTO. Ministers also decided to temporarily change the operation of the public intervention mechanism for skimmed milk powder.
EU Commissioner for Health, Vytenis Andriukaitis, presented the conclusions of the recent ministerial conference on Xylella fastidiosa.
After the meeting, Minister Porodzanov and Commissioner Phil Hogan gave a joint press conference.
All videos and photos are available here.
A full overview of the discussions at the Agriculture and Fisheries Council meeting of 29 January 2018, as well as all relevant press materials, are available here.