Common Agricultural Policy (CAP)
Ministers discussed the implementation of the new CAP and the approval of strategic plans. They exchanged views on the preparation process at national level and stressed the need to have the strategic plans approved as soon as possible. Ministers also discussed the impact of the Russian war against Ukraine on the ongoing implementation of the new green architecture. They further stressed the need for a balanced solution to meet environmental, climate and biodiversity objectives on one hand, and to ensure food security on the other.
Europe is facing many challenges and it is more important than ever to ensure stability for European citizens, including our farmers. Today, the EU’s agriculture ministers demonstrated their commitment to stabilise the markets and to contribute to food security. I hope we will be able to get the timely approval of the CAP strategic plans as one of the most important tools. Our farmers need our support as they provide healthy and quality food for all citizens in the EU and for many outside as well. We need to balance all CAP objectives, including food production, biodiversity and climate, as well as social and economic aspects.
Zdeněk Nekula, Czech Minister of Agriculture
Discussion on the market situation, especially following the invasion of Ukraine by Russia
Ministers discussed the economic situation of the agricultural sector in the context of Russia’s war against Ukraine. They exchanged views on prospects for harvest this year, taking into account the implication of the extreme drought over recent weeks, as well as the challenges facing each sector as a result of the Russian aggression of Ukraine. The shortage of raw materials and the high input prices are having a major impact on the agricultural production and downstream manufacturing in member states. In this context, ministers further called on the Commission to provide clarifications on derogations and national strategic plans as soon as possible, in order to provide certainty to farmers. Ministers further discussed the implementation of EU solidarity lanes and relevant matchmaking platforms established to help transit the grain out of Ukraine and reiterated their commitment and solidarity with Ukraine. They further called on the continued need to monitor individual sectors in the EU and to develop tools at global level to assess the way forward in the longer term.
Sustainable use of plant protection products
Ministers discussed the recent Commission proposal and its ambitious harmonisation of national policies on pesticide use by means of a regulation. Ministers welcomed the sustainable use of plant protection products and expressed their concerns regarding the setting of the 50% target in chemical pesticides, both at the EU and national level. They recalled the need for viable sustainable alternatives to chemical pesticides before setting obligatory reduction targets. Ministers further called on the necessity to take into account the differences in geography, climate and starting points in different member states. They further stressed that sustainability should not be sought at the expense of food security or of the competitiveness of EU agriculture, especially in the current context of the Russian aggression of Ukraine.
Ministers welcomed the European Commission’s document “Strategic guidelines for a more sustainable and competitive EU aquaculture for the period 2021 to 2030” and agreed on a set of conclusions on aquaculture to build a sustainable, resilient and competitive marine and freshwater aquaculture sector. Ministers called for the need to give the appropriate high priority to the sector, to increase its sustainability and economic performance. They also emphasized the necessity to ensure the provision of nutritious, healthy and safe food and to reduce the EU’s high dependence on imports of fishery and aquaculture products, therefore contributing to food security. Ministers further highlighted the main challenges and threats to the competitiveness and resiliency of the aquaculture sector in the EU and stressed the implementation of the European Green Deal objectives through organic and environmentally friendly aquaculture. In this context, they called for the establishment of a transparent EU system for recognising and rewarding producers for environmentally friendly aquaculture management. They moreover recommended increasing consumer awareness of all the benefits of aquaculture.
Ministers exchanged views on the state of play of the regulation on the making available of certain commodities and products associated with deforestation and forest degradation (Presidency). They also discussed the need to update the legislation on the transport of animals in the EU (Denmark), the recent drought situation in the EU (Hungary), as well as the WTO’s sanitary and phytosanitary declaration (France).
WTO MC12 – sanitary and phytosanitary declaration “Responding to modern SPS challenges” adopted at the Ministerial Conference – Information from the French delegation, on behalf of the Austrian, Belgian, Cyprus, French, Greek, Irish, Italian, Latvian, Luxembourg, Portuguese, Slovak and Spanish delegations
Digital Markets Act
The Council gave its final approval on new rules for a fair and competitive digital sector through the Digital Markets Act (DMA). Regulating the digital market at EU level will create a fair and competitive digital environment, allowing companies and consumers to benefit from digital opportunities. Following the Council’s approval of the European Parliament’s position, the legislative act was adopted.
Trade liberalisation between the EU and Moldova
The Council adopted a regulation temporarily liberalising trade in the seven Moldovan agricultural products that are not already fully liberalised: tomatoes, garlic, table grapes, apples, cherries, plums and grape juice. This means that Moldova can at least double its exports of these products – for a period of one year – to the European Union without any tariffs.
Urgent temporary measures for Ukrainian drivers
Following an urgent procedure, the Council adopted specific and temporary measures concerning Ukrainian driving documents. This legislative act is linked to the reception of Ukrainian refugees and aims at reducing the administrative requirements normally applying to third country drivers when driving within the EU.
The Council also adopted without discussion the items on the lists of legislative and non-legislative A items.
- Meeting n°3890
- 18 July 2022
- Provisional agenda
- List of A items, non-legislative activities
- List of A items, legislative deliberations
- Background brief
DMA: Council gives final approval to new rules for fair competition online – 18 July 2022, 10:35
Moldovan agricultural products: Council adopts temporary trade liberalisation measures – 18 July 2022, 10:30