13 Jul 2015
LUXEMBOURG PRESIDENCY WORK PROGRAMME – 13 JULYBrussels Daily
Work programme of the Luxembourg Presidency for the period from 1 July to 31 December 2015 with regard to the Agriculture and Fisheries Council
Sustainability must be the basic principle for the future development of European agriculture.
That development must take the economic and social dimension into consideration, as well as
health and environmental factors. It is against this background that the common agricultural policy
must contribute to the general political objectives of the European Union. To implement these
principles effectively, the Luxembourg Presidency will focus in particular on the simplification of
rules and procedures, which will guide its discussions on individual files. It will also ensure that
the Council remains fully engaged in the process of simplifying the common agricultural policy.
The Luxembourg Presidency will work to ensure the success of negotiations on the Commission
proposal on organic farming, in order to build a regulatory framework that responds to new
challenges and allows harmonious development of the sector.
In relation to the Russian embargo on certain EU agricultural products and the expiry of milk
quotas, the Luxembourg Presidency will pay particular attention to developments in the market for
agricultural products and their impact on farmers. The EU’s agricultural sector and agri-food
industry are major global players and the Luxembourg Presidency will closely monitor
developments in bilateral and multilateral trade policy.
As regards the School Milk and School Fruit Schemes, the Presidency will continue the work
started by previous Presidencies, in order to find ways of harmonising how the two programmes
operate and promoting a balanced and healthy diet among schoolchildren.
The principle of sustainability will also be at the top of the Luxembourg Presidency’s agenda with
regard to fisheries policy. It will seek to strengthen the new approach focused on sustainability,
ensuring that decisions on fishing opportunities (TACs and quotas) for 2016 are, to the extent
possible, based on the principle of maximum sustainable yield. An in-depth discussion of
scientific data relating to the state of fish stocks should allow reasoned, transparent decision-
making. The Luxembourg Presidency will also seek to reach agreement on the issue of deep-sea
fishing, ensuring the sustainable exploitation of deep-sea fish stocks.
Furthermore, the concepts of simplification and institutional balance will have to be implemented in
finalising negotiations on the multiannual fisheries management plan for the Baltic Sea.
The principle of simplification should also be implemented by means of the new rules to be
adopted on plant protection, on which the Luxembourg Presidency will try to find agreement with
the European Parliament at first reading, and which will allow harmonisation of trade in plants and
plant products on the EU single market.
In the same vein, the Luxembourg Presidency will try to begin trilogues with the European
Parliament on the legislative proposal on the zootechnical and genealogical conditions for trade
in and imports from third countries of breeding animals and their germinal products and to
continue discussions on the medicated feed and veterinary medicinal products files. In this
context, combating antimicrobial resistance is one of the major challenges when it comes to
safeguarding the health of European citizens.
The Luxembourg Presidency will aim to finalise the Regulation on official controls of the food
chain, with the aim of promoting Single-Market-friendly technical harmonisation, in particular by
standardising the fees linked to controls by the competent authorities in the European Union and at
its external borders.
The Presidency hopes to contribute to the democratic debate by launching discussions on the
revision of the authorisation procedure for genetically modified organisms in food and feed.
Consumer protection will be enhanced through improved consumer information, not least by
means of fat-content labelling.