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EU-Canada Summit takes place in Montreal

Today and tomorrow, the European Union and Canada will hold their 17th bilateral summit. The European Union will be represented at the summit by the President of the European Council, Donald Tusk, with the European Commissioner for Trade, Cecilia Malmström, also participating. Canada will be represented by its Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau. The summit will be an opportunity to reflect on the very close cooperation and partnership between the EU and Canada, and to discuss future areas of cooperation. Our strategic partnership is long-standing and vibrant, built on effective multilateralism, a progressive international policy agenda and inclusive trade. We work together to promote international peace and security and achieve prosperity for people in a safer, fairer and more inclusive world. The summit will be the first to take place since that of October 2016, at which the EU and Canada signed two landmark agreements: the Strategic Partnership Agreement and the Comprehensive and Economic Trade Agreement. Both agreements have already provided new opportunities for even closer cooperation, for example in addressing climate change, technological advances, and trade ties. 2018 was the first full year of the provisional application of the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement, and has led to an increase in bilateral trade of 10.5% compared with the average of the previous 3 years (2015-2017). Leaders are also expected to discuss topical foreign and security policy issues, such as Ukraine, Russia, Venezuela, and Iran, as well as cyber security and counter-terrorism. Coverage of the summit, including the joint press conference following the summit’s conclusion on Thursday, will be available on Europe by Satellite and the Council Newsroom. More information on EU-Canada relations is available on the website of the EU Delegation to Canada and in a dedicated factsheet. (For more information: Maja Kocijančič – Tel.: +32 229 86570; Daniel Rosario – Tel.: +32 229 56185; Adam Kaznowski – Tel.: +32 229 89359; Kinga Malinowska – Tél.: +32 229 51383)


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Agenda highlights

Live streaming
Live streaming

15 July 2019

  • 10:10 Public session
  • 14:55 Public session
  • 20:00 Press conference

Estimated schedule

Finland’s presidency

The Council will be informed about the priorities and work programme of Finland’s presidency in the field of agriculture and fisheries.

Infographic – The future of EU agricultural policy

Future of the CAP post 2020

Ministers will exchange views on the environmental and climate-related aspects of the post 2020 Common Agricultural Policy reform package.

Sugar sector

The Council will be updated on the work of the high level group on sugar created by the Commission to carry out a thorough evaluation of the sugar sector at EU and national level.

Any other business

Ministers will be informed about a variety of issues:

  • the state of play of African swine fever
  • animal welfare during transport
  • plant protection products and pest management
  • the EU-Mercosur trade agreement
  • the outcome of the third EU-African Union agriculture ministerial conference
  • the BIOEAST initiative
  • the difficult situation in the rice sector

Provisional agenda

Vice-President Katainen in Helsinki to attend informal Environment Council and the Finnish Government’s EU Affairs Ministerial Committee

Vice-President Jyrki Katainen, responsible for Jobs, Growth, Investment and Competitiveness, will be in Helsinki, Finland on 11 and 12 July. Today, the Vice-President will meet Ms Tytti Tuppurainen, Minister for European Affairs of Finland, to discuss the Finnish Presidency of the Council, the Multiannual Financial Framework and the Rule of Law, in addition to other topical EU issues. He will also meet Mr Mika Lintilä, Minister of Finance of Finland, to discuss topical economic and financial issues. On Friday 12 July, Vice-President Katainen will attend the Finnish Government’s Ministerial Committee on European Union Affairs. He will also participate in the Working Session on Circular Economy of the informal meeting of the Environment Ministers. Finally, he will visit Fortum Corporation to discuss the Circular Economy. (For more information: Annika Breidthardt – Tel.: +32 229 56153; Enda McNamara – Tel.: +32 229 64976)

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Since the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) reform of 2013, the administrative costs linked to the CAP did not substantially increase for farmers, representing 2% of the total aid received. As for costs for national authorities, they are estimated at around 3% of the CAP budget, having increased by a third since the implementation of a new system to control and manage payments in 2013. Those are among the main findings of the study ‘Analysis of administrative burden arising from the CAP’, published today by the European Commission.

The general objective of this study is to examine the costs and administrative burden, including the effectiveness and efficiency, of current systems for managing and controlling a large share of common agricultural policy (CAP) expenditure. Specifically, the study analyses and assesses different elements of the integrated administration and control system (IACS) as well as Land Parcel Identification System, related control mechanisms, and costs associated to cross-compliance. Cross-compliance is a set of basic rules, setting the standards for public, plant and animal health and animal welfare that farmers have to follow to receive income support.

According to the study, the CAP administrative costs are below or similar when compared with other EU policies. For example, the overall rate for the European Structural and Investment Funds (ESIF) are estimated at 4%, while the overall administrative costs of the EU represent around 6% of the total EU budget.

Furthermore, the study found that the average annual costs of IACS is estimated at €10 per hectare of utilised agricultural area (UAA). For the EU as a whole, this represents between €1.7 billion and €1.9 billion. This includes 14% linked to set-up costs, 12% to running costs, and 74% to management and control costs.

As for cross-compliance, the study found that compared to the previous period, costs as a percentage of direct payments received have decreased. Main costs are linked to personnel, IT investments and risk analysis.

When looking at administrative costs for IACS per Member State, they vary greatly, ranging from €2 to €208 per hectare of UAA. The study concluded that several factors influenced those differences between countries such as the size and structure of its agricultural sector, the organisational structure of the national authorities and choices over information technology systems. More specifically the data revealed considerable differences between large and small Member States, with costs higher for smaller ones. This can be explained by smaller Member States benefitting less from economies of scale.

Findings from the study also found that automation, digitalisation and new technologies for management controls help reduce CAP administrative costs and burden. It has already shown results with the Land Parcel Identification System for example, an IT system based on photographs of agricultural parcels used to check payments under the CAP. Another technology that could be further exploited to decrease administrative burden is remote sensing, used as part of the control regimes of some Member States. It has led to a reduction in the number of physical inspections in the field and more targeted use of resources when inspectors need to be deployed on-farm.

However the study also found that uptake of electronic systems highly depend on the Member State. The uptake is extremely slow in some countries. To improve this, it might require infrastructure investments to increase access to broadband in remote rural areas.

At beneficiary level, as a percentage of total CAP support received, the administrative burden is estimated at 2% on average. The study found that this varies depending on the size of the farm, its complexity (livestock, arable, permanent crops, mixed…), the number and types of support received as well as the amount of payments.

The study concludes its analysis with some recommendations, including encouraging the use of technology to reduce administrative costs and that Member States add analysis of those costs to their CAP strategic plans put forward in the post-2020 CAP proposals.

More information

Evaluation study on analysis of administrative burden arising from the CAP

Eurogroup and ECOFIN meetings, 8 and 9 July 2019

Vice-President Dombrovskis, Commissioner Günther H. Oettinger and Commissioner Pierre Moscovici will represent the Commission at today’s Eurogroup and tomorrow’s ECOFIN meetings. Ministers will discuss the budgetary situation in the euro area as a whole, with presentations by the Commission based on its Spring Semester packageand by the European Fiscal Board on its recently published report. Eurogroup ministers will also discuss the third enhanced surveillance report on Greece and will be debriefed on the main findings of the eleventh post-programme surveillance mission to Spain. Ministers will take stock of the outcome of the Commission’s sectoral consultations and the latest economic analysis from the ECB regarding the international role of the euro. They will also be informed of the Commission’s conclusion in the context of the spring 2019 round of fiscal surveillance for Italy. Ministers will then continue in an inclusive format to follow up on the Euro Summit of June 2019. Leaders invited the Eurogroup in inclusive format to continue working on all the elements of the package on the strengthening of the EMU, as set out in the letter of the President of the Eurogroup of 15 June 2019. Commissioner Pierre Moscovici will participate in the press conference following the meeting. At the ECOFIN meeting tomorrow, the Finnish Council Presidency will present its work programme on economic and financial matters. Ministers will hold a discussion with Commissioner Oettinger on the EU’s own resourcesand new sources of financing in view of the multiannual financial framework package for 2021-2027. The Council will adopt the country-specific recommendations which conclude the European Semester for 2019. Vice-President Dombrovskis will participate in the press conference following the meeting. (For more information: Annika Breidthardt – Tel.: +32 229-56153; Vanessa Mock –Tel.: +32 229 56194; Annikky Lamp – Tel.: +32 229 56151; Patrick McCullough – Tel.: +32 229 87183; Guillaume Mercier +32 229 80564)


Commissioner Jourová on official visit to Chile and Argentina

Commissioner Jourová will be in Chile today and tomorrow, as well as in Argentina on Wednesday 10 and Thursday 11 July. The visit follows the conclusion of the EU-Mercosur trade agreement and will focus on improving cooperation on data flows, advocating for strong convergence of data protection regimes, advancing bilateral judicial cooperation and discussing the issues of gender equality and antisemitism, among others. In Chile, Commissioner Jourová will meet the Minister of Justice and Human Rights, Hernán Larraín Fernández, the Minister of Finance, Felipe Larraín Bascuñán, the Minister of Women and Gender Equality, Isabel Plá Jarufe, as well as the ViceMinister of Trade, Rodrigo Yañez. Data protection and gender equality will be on the agenda of the meeting with Chilean Senators Felipe Harboe Bascuñán, Jaime Quintana,Adriana Muñoz and Kenneth Pugh. She will also discuss data protection with the representatives of Chilean and European trade associations and companies. Commissioner Jourová will then exchange views withthe Chilean Transparency Council. Finally, she will deliver a keynote Speech at the University of Chile on the Challenges and Opportunities in the Digital Era. Then in Buenos Aires, the visit includes exchanges with theMinister of Justice and Human Rights, German Garavano, with the President of the Senate, Federico Pinedo, the Chief of Staff of the Argentinian President, in charge of, among others, data protection topics, Marcos Pena, as well as with Senators Dalmacio Mera and Laura Rodríguez Machado. Commissioner Jourová will then meet with members of the Chamber of Deputies, Karina Banfi and Ezequiel Langan.She will then commemorate with the Argentinian Jewish community, and representatives of Christian and Muslim faiths, the 1994 bombing at the Jewish Community Center.Finally, she will deliver a keynote speech on the benefits of aligning data protection standards at the Privacy in a Globalised World conference. The event is organised under the framework of the “International Digital Cooperation – Enhanced Data Protection and Data Flows”project funded under the European Commission’s Partnership Instrument. (For more information: Christian Wigand + 32 229 62 253 Melanie Voin + 32 229 58659)


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