New EU forest strategy for 2030
The EU’s agriculture ministers adopted Council conclusions on the new EU forest strategy for 2030. This strategy is one of the flagship elements of the European Green Deal, builds on the EU’s biodiversity strategy and will form a key part of efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by at least 55% by 2030.
In its conclusions, the Council acknowledged the essential role played by forests in the EU’s transition to a green, climate-neutral and competitive circular bio-economy. Ministers welcomed the new strategy’s emphasis on promoting sustainable wood-based products and the proposal to set up a new partnership for forestry research and innovation.
Nevertheless, the Council also stressed the need to strike a balance between the environmental, social and economic aspects of sustainable forest management and the importance of respecting national competences in the area of forestry and forest management. The importance of including an international dimension aimed at curbing global deforestation was also highlighted.
As one of the most densely forested countries in Europe, Slovenia has always appreciated the importance of sustainable forest management. Today’s conclusions reflect the need for all stakeholders to work together and adopt a balanced approach in order to come to terms with the unprecedented challenges facing our forests, while also protecting communities whose livelihoods depend on forest resources.
Jože Podgoršek, Slovenian Minister for Agriculture
- Council adopts conclusions on the new EU forest strategy for 2030, press release 15 November 2021
- Council conclusions on the new EU forest strategy for 2030
- Commission communication on the new EU forest strategy for 2030
- The European Green Deal
Based on information provided by the Commission and member states, ministers held an exchange of views on the market situation for agricultural products. Although the EU’s agri-food sector was performing well on the whole, member states highlighted a number of concerns, in particular the impact on agriculture of rising energy, input and feed costs. The Lithuanian delegation also took the floor to present a common declaration on behalf of fourteen delegations requesting urgent exceptional EU support measures for the pigmeat sector under the Common Market Organisation Regulation. Other topics discussed included the impact of weather conditions, veterinary diseases such as African swine fever and avian influenza, and potential future disruptions to trade relations with non-EU countries.
Other topics on the agenda
Fish stocks shared with the United Kingdom
Ministers held an exchange of views on progress made in consultations on fishing opportunities for stocks shared with the United Kingdom for 2022, based on information provided by the Commission. The ministers provided political guidance to the Commission on the position to be taken by the EU during these ongoing negotiations.
Following the UK’s withdrawal from the EU, consultations between the EU and the UK on shared fish stocks will take place annually in line with the EU-UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement. The role of the Council is to provide guidance to the Commission on the EU’s position in the consultations, while also receiving regular updates on the progress of the negotiations.
EU Pollinator Week
The presidency informed ministers about 2021’s EU Pollinator Week, which took place on 27-30 September. This four-day event brought together speakers from the Commission, the European Parliament and the member state administrations, as well as academics and NGO representatives. The event explored ways to step up EU action to reverse the decline of pollinators by 2030. Among the recommendations put forward was the need to enhance communication and cross-sectoral dialogue at EU and national level, including by engaging key stakeholders and civil society.
As part of this event, the Commission organised a workshop entitled ‘EU actions for pollinators in agricultural landscapes’, which involved key stakeholders from farming, environmental bodies, public authorities and civil society. The workshop generated a number of concrete policy proposals that have the potential to inform member states’ CAP strategic plans.
Protection of bees and wild pollinators is an important priority of the Slovenian presidency and we are pleased with the positive outcome of this workshop. We are confident that the proposals put forward will prove beneficial to member states in the drafting of their CAP strategic plans.
Jože Podgoršek, Slovenian Minister for Agriculture
Other business points
Over the course of the meeting, ministers received information from the Commission about the recent farm to fork conference, the contingency plan for ensuring food supply and food security, and the 12th WTO ministerial conference. Delegations also provided information about volcanic activity on La Palma, issues dealing with populations of brown bears and wolves in certain regions, and the CAP strategic plans.
- Information from the Commission: farm to fork conference
- Contingency plan for ensuring food supply and food security in times of crisis
- Information from the Commission: 12th WTO ministerial conference
- Information from the Slovak delegation: bears and wolves
- Information from the Hungarian delegation: CAP strategic plans
- Meeting n°3825
- 15 November 2021
- Provisional agenda
- Provisional list of A items, non-legislative activities
- Background brief
- List of A items, non-legislative activities
- Council adopts conclusions on the new EU forest strategy for 2030 – 15 November 2021, 13:15