23 Jan 2017
RESULTS AGRICULTURE COUNCIL – 23 JANUARYBrussels Daily
Main results below – results in full here
The Presidency presented its work programme and priorities in the areas of agriculture and fisheries. The main priority in agriculture will be to monitor the situation of the markets and ongoing trade negotiations, as well as to make progress in files such as organic production,forests, antimicrobial resistance and veterinary medicines. In fisheries the Presidency will work towards the adoption of a number of key legislative texts, including various multi-annual plans, external fishing fleets andtechnical measures.
The Council was updated on the latest developments in the main agricultural markets and discussed the findings of the second report on the implementation of the so-called Milk package, as well as those of the EU Sheep meat forum.
Markets are slowly recovering, but it is clear that some farmers are still going through difficult times. We are closely following the situation, and will take further action if that proves necessary.
Roderick Galdes, Maltese Parliamentary Secretary for Agriculture and president of the Council
In the debate that followed ministers acknowledged that there had been some progress, but expressed concerns at the continuing level of volatility in several market sectors and segments, especially with regard to dairy, beef and poultry. The Council was also positive about the implementation of the Milk package and its extension beyond 2020.
International trade issues
The Council was briefed on the progress in ongoing trade negotiations of relevance to agriculture and exchanged views on the economic study by the Commission on the cumulative impact of free trade agreements (FTAs) on the EU agricultural sector.
Ministers underlined the importance of trade for agriculture and the potential economic benefits of FTAs. However they also warned against unbalanced agreements, and expressed concerns about possible agreements with direct competitors. They asked the Commission to take full account of the sensitivities of specific sectors in the negotiations.
Other topics on the agenda
Ministers were informed about the state of play of the consequences avian flu, exceptions to the rules on protected designations of origin for wines, and the outcome of the 40th conference of the directors of national paying agencies.