The Commission updated the Council on the latest developments in the most important agricultural markets, in particular the dairy, sugar and pig meat markets.
Ministers welcomed the generally positive economic situation and outlook in the main market segments, but also expressed concerns as to the difficult situation of the pig meat sector in relation to African swine fever and advocated careful monitoring of the sugar sector.
Post 2020 Common Agricultural Policy reform package
In public session the Council discussed two progress reports on the work carried out on the proposals for regulation on financing, management and monitoring of the CAP, and on a common organisation of agricultural products.
Ministers focused their interventions on the increased responsibilities of national bodies in the implementation and monitoring of the CAP and restated the need for a simple and effective CAP without excessive administrative burdens. They also considered in general that existing market support instruments have proved to be effective against market disturbances.
The Council had an exchange of views on current challenges in the area of plant protection, with a two-fold focus on plant health and preparedness against new exotic diseases on one hand, and plant protection products, their availability, and approval and authorisation system.
Ministers underlined the significance of this debate in the wider context of climate change and global trade which increase the chances of harmful pests and new plant diseases.
In the presence of Mr Tom Arnold, chairman of the Task Force Rural Africa (TFRA), the Council was informed about the TFRA’s work. The task force was set up in April 2018 to provide recommendations on how to strengthen the African rural sector, and how to enhance the role of the EU in creating jobs and economic development. Ministers shared ideas on how to prioritise action and maximise the impact of investments in African agriculture and rural development.