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Speaking at the ASA Conference today (Fri) during a discussion on The Challenges in the Global Marketplace for Beef, IFA President Joe Healy warned that suckler farming is now on a cliff edge, due to EU agricultural policy which is asking farmers to produce beef at low prices while reducing direct payments and insisting on ever higher standards.

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Programme: EU-UK Article 50 negotiations Brussels

Thursday, 6 September 2018

  • Principals’ meeting: Michel Barnier, the European Commission’s Chief Negotiator, and Dominic Raab, UK Secretary of State for Exiting the EU.


Statement by President Juncker on the 50th anniversary of the end of the Prague Spring

Today marks fifty years since the end of the Prague Spring, one of the most tragic and bitter episodes in modern Europe’s history. Commemorating the occasion, President Juncker issued the following statement: “As we mark this anniversary, we remember the tragic loss of lives and we pay tribute to the courage and heroism of those – many of them students – who stood defiant in the face of tanks and weapons. Their legacy is our responsibility – we must never forget their attempt to defend the most basic of human rights and freedoms” President Juncker said, adding that today should be used as a “day of solemn commemoration to collectively remember that freedom and the respect for human rights can never be taken for granted and need to be fought for every single day […] I can think of no better way of honouring the memory of the heroes of the Prague Spring”. The full statement is available online. Vice-President Maroš Šefčovič and Commissioner Jourová also commented on the occasion: “We must remember the lessons of August 1968. Freedom cannot be taken for granted, while there is no prosperity without freedom of expression, religion or association. Therefore, we should never tolerate a breach of international law, crushing people’s legitimate yearning for freedom and democracy,” Vice-President Šefčovič said. “A Soviet tank at my doorstep is one of my earliest memories, it influences you for life. Hence I consider defending our democracy the biggest task of today, for all of us: Czechs, Slovaks, Europeans,” Commissioner Jourová said.

Preparatory documents

Agenda highlights

The Austrian presidency will present to the Council its priorities and work programme for the second half of 2018 in the field of agriculture and fisheries.

Ministers will then discuss the post 2020 CAP reform package, focusing in particular on simplification and subsidiarity.  There are three legislative proposals on the table:

  • a regulation on the CAP strategic plans
  • a regulation single common market organisation (CMO)
  • a horizontal regulation on financing, managing and monitoring the CAP

These proposals give shape to the ideas for the future of the CAP, as outlined in the Communication on the Future of Food and Farming.

The Council will also be informed about drought in Poland.

The future relationship between the United Kingdom and the European Union

The United Kingdom will leave the European Union on 29 March 2019 and begin to chart a new course in the world. The Government will have delivered on the result of the 2016 referendum – the biggest democratic exercise in this country’s history. And it will have reached a key milestone in its principal mission – to build a country that works for everyone. A country that is stronger, fairer, more united and more outward-looking.

The UK Government is advancing a detailed proposal for a principled and practical Brexit. This proposal underpins the vision set out by the Prime Minister at Lancaster House, in Florence, at Mansion House and in Munich, and in doing so addresses questions raised by the EU in the intervening months – explaining how the relationship would work, what benefits it would deliver for both sides, and why it would respect the sovereignty of the UK as well as the autonomy of the EU.  Read all about it here

More information can be found on Brexit here

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