19 Feb 2018


Brussels, Brussels Daily

Main results below – read full results here

The future of food and farming: Common Agricultural Policy post 2020

Today we had a fruitful discussion on some of the most important aspects of the future Common Agricultural Policy: direct support, environment and rural development. We have the responsibility to lay the foundations of a modern policy that rightly rewards farmers for providing high-value public goods such as food security, the fight against climate change and the protection of rural areas.

Rumen Porodzanov, minister of agriculture, food and forestry of the Republic of Bulgaria and president of the Council

Ministers exchanged views on the communication on the future of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP). During a public session, the Council focused in particular on the direct support that the EU provides to European farmers, the environmental dimension of the CAP, and rural development.

During the debate ministers underlined the importance of direct payments and considered that their design could be further improved by making them fairer, more targeted and effective for farmers across the EU. Ministers also highlighted the contribution of farmers to the protection of the environment and the mitigation of climate change. They called for a higher environmental ambition of the CAP provided that farmers are adequately rewarded for the provision of these public goods. Finally ministers emphasised the need to maintain vital and resilient rural areas, in particular by creating jobs, promoting growth and favouring generational renewal in the farming sector. They confirmed the effectiveness of pillar 2 within the CAP and called for a genuine simplification of rural development programmes.

Agriculture and bioeconomy

The Council had an exchange of views on the role of agriculture in the revision of the EU bioeconomy strategy of 2012. Bioeconomy comprises those parts of the economy that use renewable biological resources from land and sea to produce value-added products such as food, feed, materials and energy.

Bioeconomy is a great economic opportunity for our farmers and foresters. We have to make sure that they are in the position to fully exploit this potential and that we help them to better integrate in the bioeconomy value chains.

Rumen Porodzanov, minister of agriculture, food and forestry of the Republic of Bulgaria and president of the Council

EU protein plan

The Commission updated the Council on its intentions for an EU protein plan to address the EU’s significant and long-standing feed protein deficit. The plan, which is due to be published by the end of 2018, will focus on: research and innovation, agronomic challenges and the environmental benefits of protein crops, the development of supply/value chains and market potential for EU plant proteins in different market segments.

Ministers welcomed the Commission initiatives and underlined the importance of addressing the issue in a way that is compatible with the protection of environment and the fight against deforestation.

Other topics on the agenda

Ministers had an informal lunch debate on the topic ‘CAP strategic choices‘ and were informed about:

  • the statement of the Visegrád group + Croatia about the CAP after 2020
  • the contribution of the cohesion policy and other EU policies to rural development after 2020
  • the impending launch of the launch of the task force for rural Africa
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