Brussels Daily
17 May 2016


Brussels Daily

Main results (results in full here)

Agriculture and climate 

The Council discussed the relation between agriculture and climate, in light of the outcome of the Paris climate agreement of December 2015. Discussion focused in particular on the role of agriculture in mitigating climate change and adapting to it, the possible contribution of farming and the land use sector (LULUCF) to the implementation of the EU targets to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and to the transition to a bio-economy.

Ministers gave their views on the new legislative framework that for the first time will include agriculture in the emission reduction targets. They highlighted the importance of the specificities of agriculture and its role in pursuing objectives like food security.

Martijn van Dam, Dutch minister for agriculture and President of the Council, said:

“As you know agriculture is one of the causes of the problem, responsible for 10% of the greenhouse emissions, but agriculture can also be part of the solution.”

Animal welfare 

The Council discussed the issue of animal welfare, focusing on the results of the recent Eurobarometer public opinion survey on animal welfare and on the establishment of the EU platform on animal welfare. Ministers broadly supported the establishment of the EU platform on animal welfare.

Martijn van Dam, Dutch minister for agriculture and President of the Council, said:

“Animal welfare is a matter of concern for the European Commission, Member States and consumers and society as a whole. I am happy to hear that the European Commission is taking this seriously by establishing the platform, so existing problematic issues in this domain can be addressed together with stakeholders and NGOs. In the meantime my colleagues and I will press for a new animal welfare strategy on an EU-level.”

Market situation 

In line with its commitment to follow the market situation closely, the Council was briefed by the Commission on the latest information on developments in the main agricultural sectors. In addition the Commission reported on the implementation and take up of the package of market support measures agreed at the March Council. Most ministers expressed concern for the continued difficulties experienced by European farmers and asked for more decisive intervention. At its June Council Ministers will make a thorough evaluation of the measures in place.

The Council also discussed the issue of international trade negotiations and the potential impact of the comprehensive economic and trade agreement with Canada (CETA), the transatlantic trade investment partnership with the US (TTIP) and an agreement with Mercosur on European agriculture. Ministers asked for a better understanding of the advantages and risks linked to these agreements and urged the Commission to protect the competitiveness of European agriculture.


Preliminary remarks by Phil HOGAN, European Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development, following the Agriculture and Fisheries Council, on 17 May 2016

Questions and answers during the press conference that followed the Agriculture and Fisheries Council, on 17 May 2016, in Brussels.

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