14 Dec 2015
AGENDA AGRICULTURE COUNCIL 14 – 15 DECEMBERBrussels Daily
Agriculture and Fisheries Council Monday 14 and Tuesday 15 December 2015
Justus Lipsius building, Brussels starting at 10 am.
Read Background Note in full here
The Council meeting will address agricultural and fisheries matters; it will start at 10.00 on Monday
14 December 2015 and will continue on Tuesday 15 December 2015. The Council will be chaired
by Mr Fernand Etgen, Luxembourg’s Minister for Agriculture, Viticulture and Consumer Protection.
Concerning fisheries, the ministers will try to reach a political agreement on fishing opportunities
for certain fish stocks in EU and certain non-EU waters and on fishing opportunities for
certain fish stocks in the Black Sea for 2016. Each year, on the basis of Commission proposals,
the Council has to take decisions on fishing opportunities for the stocks in the Atlantic, the North
Sea, international fisheries in which EU vessels participate and in the Black Sea.
As regards agriculture, the ministers will have an exchange of views on sustainable agriculture,
forestry and fisheries in the bio-economy. In addition, the Presidency will report to the Council
on the progress achieved during the second half of 2015 on veterinary medicinal products and
Finally, the Council will be briefed on the Codex alimentarius, the school scheme, young
farmers and the difficulties of the pigmeat sector.
Fishing opportunities for 2016 in EU and non EU-waters
The Council will try to reach a political agreement on a regulation concerning fishing opportunities
for 2016 for EU vessels in Union and certain non-Union waters. The proposal concerns fish stocks
which are not subject to international negotiations or agreements and stocks subject to
international negotiations or agreements (13765/15 + ADD1 + ADD2).
Each year, in accordance with Article 43(3) of the TFEU the Council has to take a decision on a
Commission proposal with regard to fishing opportunities for the stocks in the Atlantic, the North
Sea and international fisheries in which EU vessels participate. This is the main fishing
opportunities regulation by the number of regulated stocks.
The fishing opportunities are established under the form of yearly total allowable catches (TACs)
by fish stocks in the different fishing zones. Those TACs are sub divided into fishing quotas by
member state. Along with the regulations fixing the fishing opportunities for the Baltic Sea, the
deep sea fish stocks (every two years) and the Black Sea (see below), this regulation governs the
harvesting of the stocks to levels which must be consistent with the overall objectives of the
reformed common fisheries policy (CFP).
The Commission proposal is based on advice from the International Council for the Exploration of
the Sea (ICES) and the Scientific, Technical and Economic Committee for Fisheries (STECF). The
EU’s ultimate objective is to bring the stocks to levels that can deliver maximum sustainable yields
(MSYs). This objective has been incorporated into the reformed CFP. In this respect, regulation
1380/20132 on the CFP requires that the MSY objective “…shall be achieved by 2015, where
possible, and by 2020 for all stocks at the lates”. In addition the regulation also introduces a
landing obligation which becomes applicable progressively from the beginning of this year to 2019.
In this regard, the fishing opportunities are to reflect the change from amount landed to amount
caught, taking into account the fact that discards are no longer allowed.
The situation to which fishing opportunities in 2016 must respond was presented to the Council in a
Commission communication (9341/15) in June.
As the existing provisions in the area covered by the proposal are applicable until 31 December
2015, with the exception of certain effort limitations which are applicable until 31 January 2016, the
regulation should apply from 1 January 2016.
Ministers will have an exchange of views on “Sustainable agriculture, forestry and fisheries in the
bio-economy – A challenge for Europe” in the context of the preparation of an EU long-term
strategy for agricultural research and innovation developed by the Standing Committee on
Agricultural Research (SCAR) (14927/15).
The SCAR was established in 1974 under the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) legislation. Its
main objective was the coordination of agricultural research between member states and the
European Commission. A new impetus has been granted at EU level to research regarding
agriculture, forests, food and bio-based industries in Horizon 2020.
The fourth SCAR foresight exercise focused on the bio-economy which encompasses the
production of all biomass types and the conversion of these resources and waste streams into
value-added products. It addresses the multidimensional challenges of food security, energy
security, climate change, environmental protection and industrial renewal. The exercise launched
in spring 2014 explored specifically the interactions between agriculture, forestry and fisheries and
the bio-economy with an emphasis on the future. The resulting report was presented at a public
conference in Brussels on 8 October 2015. It highlights three scenarios in a long-term perspective
(2050) based on varying levels of biomass supply and demand which are used to describe
opportunities and risks for the different sectors.
The state of play of the bio-economy was described in the foresight by presenting three main
processing sectors using bio-resources from the primary sector: the food-feed, the materials-
chemicals and the fuel-energy systems. Those systems need to be tackled in their complexity
through a holistic and integrated approach. For future policy, a key implication of the analysis and
conclusions of the foresight is that the bio-economy can only thrive if it is sustainable, in terms of
its social, economic and environmental dimensions.
Preparation of an EU long-term strategy for agricultural research and innovation was launched in
June 2015 with a workshop at Expo Milan. The strategy will be presented and discussed at a large
conference organised by the Commission in Brussels from 26 to 28 January 2016.
The strategy is built around five core priority areas organised under two headings:
- Heading1: creating value from land: sustainable primary production:
- Resourcemanagement – focusing on natural resource management (soil, water, biodiversity) and climate change
- Healthierplants and animals
- Integratedecological approaches from farm to landscape level
- Heading2: enhancing rural innovation: modernising rural territories and policies:
- Newopenings for rural growth – focusing on territorial dynamics, food and non-food
systems, rewarding the provision of public goods, taking advantage of the digital revolution
- Enhancingthe human and social capital in rural areas – focusing on agricultural knowledge
and innovation systems (AKIS)
In order to follow up the SCAR foresight exercise and with a view to contributing to the preparation
of an EU long-term strategy for agricultural research and innovation, the Presidency would like the
debate in the Council to be structured around the following question:
- Couldministers indicate which particular elements in the SCAR Foresight report should in their
view be highlighted in the preparation of an EU long-term strategy for agricultural research and
Veterinary medicinal products and medicated feed
The Presidency will report to the Council on the progress achieved during the second half of 2015
on two proposals considered as a package on ‘Animal medicines’:
- Regulationon the manufacture, placing on the market and use of medicated feed
On veterinary medicinal products, the first proposal seeks to put in place a set of rules tailored to
the specificities of the veterinary sector and aiming in particular to:
- increasethe availability of veterinary medicinal products
- reduceadministrative burdens
- stimulatecompetitiveness and innovation
- improvethe functioning of the internal market
- addressthe public health risk of antimicrobial resistance
The second proposal reviews the current legislation on medicated feed to ensure the highest
degree of animal health and welfare and public health as well as effective functioning of the
internal market and competitiveness of the livestock sector with respect to the use of medicated
feed. The revision of directive 90/167/EEC goes hand in hand with the revision of directive
2001/82/EC on the Community code relating to veterinary medicinal products.
The examination of both proposals began in the Council in the second half of 2014 during the
Italian presidency and was continued under the Latvian and the Luxembourg presidencies
ANY OTHER BUSINESS
The Presidency will summarise for the Council the key issues for the EU which were discussed in
the framework of the Codex Alimentarius in 2015 (15027/15).
School milk, fruit and vegetables schemes
The Council will be briefed by the Presidency on the state of play of the proposal on school milk,
fruit and vegetables schemes.
The school fruit and vegetables scheme and the school milk scheme are currently separate
programmes (under these schemes EU aid is allocated to member states for the supply of fruit and
vegetables and milk in educational establishments). In January 2014, the Commission adopted two
proposals merging the schemes and amending the new single Common Market Organisation
(single CMO) regulation under the reformed Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) (5958/14) and the
regulation fixing certain aids and refunds (6054/14).
Following the examination of the proposal in the Council, on 12 October 2015 the Special
Committee on Agriculture (SCA) granted the presidency a mandate to enter the first trilogue with
the European Parliament on this proposal. The first trilogue took place on 20 October and focused
on the legal basis for the proposal. On 9 November 2015, the SCA granted the presidency a
revised mandate. A second and a third trilogue were organised respectively on 11 November and
on 1 December. Some issues remain open, such as the list of eligible products or the percentage
of the transfers between schemes but the Presidency and the Parliament negotiators confirmed
their political will to reach an agreement by the end of this year. Two more trilogues are scheduled
in the days to come.