Brussels Daily
13 Jul 2015


Brussels Daily

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Agricultural market developments 

The Council was briefed on agricultural market developments, in particular on the impact the import ban on EU agricultural products imposed by Russia since August 2014.

During the meeting member states expressed concerns at the consequences for the sectors most affected by the ban, i.e. dairy productspigmeat and fruit and vegetables.  The Russian ban is not the only cause of the difficult economic situation faced by the EU milk and the pigmeat sector where there is a significant pressure on prices. The Commission announced market measures for fruit and vegetables and milk.

For the President of the Council, Fernand Etgen: “Following closely the agricultural markets constitutes one of the main priorities of our Presidency. We wish to be informed on the evolution of the sectors facing difficulties in order to be able to react if needed.”

Proposal for a regulation on GMOs

The Council was also briefed by the Commission on a proposal for a regulation on the possibility for the member states to restrict or prohibit the use of genetically modified food and feed on their territory.

During the exchange of views that followed, most of the member states expressed concerns about the proposal. Many questioned then the legal safety of the opt-out clauses which would be decided by a member state. They considered that the new process could weaken the single market and pointed out that it could contravene the international commitments of the EU. Many delegations regretted that no impact assessment has been prepared together with the proposal.

Work programme of the Presidency

In presenting its work programme on agriculture and fisheries for the next six months, the Presidency recalled thatsustainability must be the fundamental principle underpinning the future development of European agriculture. The Presidency highlighted however the importance also of taking into account the economic and social dimension, as well as of related health and environmental factors.

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