Brussels, 18 July 2014
Strengthened and better balanced civil dialogue groups to advice the European Commission on agricultural issues
The Directorate General for Agriculture and Rural Development (DG AGRI) of the European Commission has today finalised the review of the composition of the civil dialogue groups dealing with matters covered by the Common Agricultural Policy such as environment and climate change, animal products, organic farming, forest or quality and promotion.
Civil dialogue groups provide an important forum for consultation, providing high-level input from a wide range of sources and stakeholders in the form of opinions, recommendations and reports, complementing other sources, consultations and in-house expertise of the European Commission. DG AGRI is fully committed to intensify the debate with the citizen trough civil dialogue groups and in other instances.
Following a transparent and open call for applications launched on 1 April 2014, 103 organisations applied for membership in the Civil Dialogue Groups for EU-wide non-governmental organisations. Today's decision by the Commission confirms that 68 of the applications have been approved as eligible. In comparison with the previous situation, 43 new organisations are being recognised as full members of the civil dialogue groups run by DG AGRI. This will strengthen the expertise, the diversity of voices, the balance of the different representatives in the groups and their ability to provide the Commission with valuable advice on the future development of the CAP and its management. It will improve the quality of the debate with a wider participation of the civil society.
Member s of the renewed Civil Dialogue Groups will bring in the debate the diverse expectations of the EU society regarding the important economic role that agriculture has in rural areas, but also its contribution to fighting climate change and biodiversity losses, to improving the quality of our food and the development of rural areas, elements that goes hand-in-hand with the reform of the Common Agricultural Policy adopted last year.
A separate selection panel was set up for each of the 14 civil dialogue groups with a view to assess the applications received and to provide the Director General for Agriculture and Rural Development with recommendations on the composition of each groups. These selection panels assessed the applications on the basis of the requirements and conditions set out in the relevant call for applications and the related internal guidelines.
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