Luxembourg, 7 April 2022
Commission communication on safeguarding food security
The Commission presented its communication of 23 March 2022 on safeguarding food security and reinforcing the resilience of food systems, which sets out a number of measures aimed at addressing the impact of the war in Ukraine on food security, both in the EU and worldwide.
On the whole ministers welcomed the communication as well as the measures put in place to support farmers, which had been discussed at the March Council meeting. They agreed that, thanks to the common agricultural policy (CAP), food supply in the EU is not at risk.
Many member states highlighted the importance of providing food aid and other assistance to Ukraine and of maintaining, both within the European market and internationally, the free flow of trade in agricultural products to support regions affected by the reduction of Russian and Ukrainian exports.
Ministers also endorsed the package of measures introduced by the Commission to continue to safeguard food security in the EU, including market measures under the CAP, capacity within the framework of the CAP to mobilise set-aside areas to increase production, and a temporary crisis framework for State aid. During the discussion, the Croatian delegation, supported by others, shared information about the need for further temporary measures to support farms and ensure food security.
Many ministers further insisted on the need to strengthen the resilience of the sector by reducing its dependence on inputs and enhancing innovation, saying that this required the development of a long-term strategy.
- Commission communication on safeguarding food security and reinforcing the resilience of food systems
- Annexes to the Commission communication
- Feeding Europe – 60 years of common agricultural policy
Market situation in the wake of the Ukraine invasion
Ministers invited Mykola Solsky, the new Minister of Agrarian Policy and Food of Ukraine, to address the Council in relation to the specific requests he had made to the Presidency and the Commission for support for Ukraine’s agricultural production system. The Council expressed its full support for and total solidarity with Ukraine. The Commission presented the responses currently underway to meet the Ukrainian requests, both in terms of food aid and support for agricultural production.
Moreover, based on information communicated by the Commission and member states and following guidance from the European Council, ministers held an exchange of views on the current market situation for agri-food products and the situation of the EU’s agricultural sector, with a particular focus on the impact of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
Ministers confirmed the will of the EU’s agricultural sector and the CAP to produce enough to both safeguard the EU’s food sovereignty and to contribute to global food security. Ministers also shared their thoughts on the recently adopted market measures, which aim to continue to meet the EU’s food needs and ensure global food security.
The discussion focused on the impact on producers in the short and medium term of rising costs of inputs such as energy, fuel, fertiliser and animal feed, as well as factors likely to affect costs and therefore prices. The Council intends to monitor the situation closely and stands ready to adopt further measures in fulfilment of the EU Treaty provisions concerning the role of the CAP.
Revision of the land use, land use change and forestry (LULUCF) regulation
Agriculture ministers discussed the ongoing revision of the LULUCF regulation. This revision forms part of the Fit for 55 package, which aims to reduce the EU’s greenhouse gas emissions by 55% by 2030, compared to 1990 levels. Ministers discussed the agricultural aspects of the proposed revision, including the methods that the agriculture and forestry sectors will use to report storage and emissions, climate and biological hazards that are specific to the agriculture and forestry sectors, and the creation of agriculture, forestry, and other land use (AFOLU) pillar incorporating non-CO2 emissions from agriculture. While the Council expressed its support for the revision, a number of ministers raised concerns in particular about the methodologies for drawing up inventories and for taking account of natural disturbances in the pursuit of annual objectives. Countries with significant forest industries also questioned the obligation under the effort-sharing regulation to transfer their unused LULUCF credits to other member states after 2030.
Other topics on the agenda
During the day, under “other business”, the Presidency informed ministers about work currently underway at the Council on vaccination against highly pathogenic avian influenza, and the Commission presented its proposal for a revision of the geographical indications scheme.
Sustainable carbon cycles
Ministers approved Council conclusions on the agriculture and forestry part of the Commission’s sustainable carbon cycles communication. This communication, published on 15 December 2021, sets out ways to incentivise farming practices that help to reduce the amount of carbon in the atmosphere, in order to contribute to the objective of reducing greenhouse gas emissions in the EU by 55% by 2030. Among the measures mentioned are a legislative proposal for a certification framework for carbon removals, which would make it possible to exploit carbon in the soil economically by mobilising funding from both public and private sources, and the establishment of an expert group to look at these issues in more detail.
- Council adopts conclusions on carbon farming (press release, 7 April 2022)
- Council conclusions on the Commission communication on sustainable carbon cycles in the agricultural and forestry sectors
- Commission communication on sustainable carbon cycles
Meeting of G20 agriculture ministers, Bali 13-15 September
The Council adopted updated guidelines setting out the priorities of the EU and its member states at the upcoming meeting of G20 agriculture ministers, which will take place in Bali, Indonesia on 13-15 September.
Other A items
The Council also adopted without discussion the items that figured in the list of non-legislative A items.
- Meeting n°3858-2
- 7 April 2022
- Provisional agenda
- Provisional list of A items
- Provisional list of A items, addition 1
- Provisional list of A items, addition 2
- List of A items, non-legislative activities
- Background brief
- Council adopts conclusions on carbon farming – 7 April 2022, 15:30