Photo: European Union
The Bulgarian Presidency today enabled the EU member states to come closer to a common vision for the future of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) post-2020, adopting Presidency conclusions on the topic. These are intended to make a positive contribution to the debate on the future CAP and serve as useful guidance to the Commission in the preparation of the forthcoming CAP legislative proposal.
Commenting on the outcome of today's Council meeting of EU agricultural ministers in Brussels, Mr Rumen Porodzanov, the Bulgarian Minister for Agriculture, Food and Forestry and President of the Council, said:
“The Presidency Conclusions contain a vision about the main elements of the future CAP that is shared by the majority of the Member States. I would therefore like to thank all my colleagues in the Council and their teams for the spirit of agreement, for the consensual mood and for all the hard work and good cooperation over the past months.”
The Presidency conclusions come after months of intense negotiations between member states. The in-depth discussion about the next CAP started under the Estonian presidency of the Council. In January, under the Bulgarian Presidency, ministers discussed the CAP's added value, the EU's key objectives to be maintained and the appropriate level of subsidiarity. In February, they addressed direct payments, environmental and climate action and rural development.
Today's conclusions embody the views expressed by the majority of the member states during these two debates. They call for the CAP's added value in delivering on new challenges to be enhanced, member states to be empowered to take decisions fitting local needs and specificities, the resilience of the agricultural sector to be strengthened, the CAP's contribution to environmental objectives to be fostered, and quality of life in rural areas to be improved.
The full text of the Presidency conclusions is available here.
Also today, ministers discussed several fisheries-related items, in particular the Commission proposal for a multi annual plan for demersal stocks in the western Mediterranean Sea, the state of ratification and transposition of international instruments concerning working conditions and safety on board fishing vessels, and a joint declaration by 11 member states on the development of freshwater aquaculture in the EU after 2020.
More information about the items discussed at the meeting is available here.
After the meeting, Minister Porodzanov and Commissioner Phil Hogan gave a joint press conference.
Videos and photos are available here.