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Brussels, 28 June 2010
Preparation of the Agriculture and Fisheries Council of June 2010
The Agriculture and Fisheries Council will meet in Luxembourg on Tuesday 29 June, under the presidency of Mrs Elena Espinosa, Spanish Minister of the Rural, Marine & Natural Environment. Maritime Affairs & Fisheries Commissioner Maria Damanaki, Agriculture & Rural Development Commissioner Dacian Cioloş and Health & Consumer Policy Commissioner John Dalli will represent the Commission at the meeting. Over lunch, ministers will discuss the reform of the common organisation of the markets in fishery and aquaculture products. Fisheries issues will be taken in the morning session, the Health & Consumer issues immediately after lunch, and the agricultural issues in the afternoon.
The fisheries-related items on the Council agenda are the Commission's Communication on the consultation on fishing opportunities for 2011, a discussion on the options for change under the reform of the Common Fisheries Policy and implementation of the European Fisheries Fund.
Consultation on Fishing Opportunities for 2011
Council will hold an exchange of views on the Commission's Communication on Fishing Opportunities for 2011, adopted on 17 May (IP/10/574). This document outlines the general approach that the Commission intends to take in formulating its proposals for fishing opportunities in 2011, in pursuit of sustainability and improving fish stock.
The Commission relies on scientific advice from two international committees of experts when proposing fish quotas: the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea, based in Copenhagen, and the Scientific, Technical and Economic Committee for Fisheries. This advice will be available in July.
The Commission plans to issue its proposals for fishing opportunities for 2011 for the Baltic Sea and deep-sea species in September and for all other areas in October.
Reform of the Common Fisheries Policy: exchange of views
Member States will hold an exchange of views on the possible options to be chosen as the basis for the reform of the CFP. Commissioner Damanaki will make a presentation during the exchange of views.
The options for discussion have emerged throughout the consultation process. This process began last year with the broad consultation of Member States and stakeholders on the issues raised in the Commission's Green Paper (IP/09/617). Since then, the reform debate has been carried forward at a series of events, including thematic seminars, a major stakeholder conference in La Coruña in May this year which was followed by an informal meeting of fisheries ministers in Vigo to discuss the Commission's synthesis document summarising the written contributions to the Green Paper, the conclusions of the conference and the external dimension of the future CFP.
Any other business
Implementation of the European Fisheries Fund (EFF)
The Commission is seriously concerned at the low level of implementation of the EFF budget (2007-2013) by Member States. It has therefore asked for a discussion on EFF implementation.
As the financial crisis continues to bite across all economic sectors, it is vital that EU assistance gets to the beneficiaries as quickly as possible. Hence the need to overcome the initial hold-ups and bring EFF implementation up to cruising speed.
The Commission will pinpoint areas in which Member States can take immediate action to help speed up EFF implementation and thus ensure that EU assistance reaches the beneficiaries.
The EFF provides funding to the fishing industry and coastal communities to help them adapt to changing conditions in the sector and become economically resilient and ecologically sustainable. The EFF has a budget of €4.3 billion for 2007-2013. Funding is available for all sectors of the industry – sea and inland fishing, aquaculture (the farming of fish, shellfish and aquatic plants), and processing and marketing of fisheries products. Particular attention is given to fishing communities most affected by recent changes in the industry.
Mackerel management negotiations with Iceland and Faroe Islands
Ireland requested that the current state of play and possible options on the above issue be discussed.
Simplification of the CAP
Ministers will have an exchange of views on the simplification of legislation following a presentation by Commissioners Dacian Cioloş and John Dalli on the state of play of the ongoing process of simplification in EU agriculture and veterinary legislation.
Simplification of EU legislation and in particular of agricultural legislation, including the animal and plant health fields, is one of the key issues in reducing the administrative burden placed on European farmers, streamlining rules and regulations and improving the quality of the adopted legistation.
In November 2009, the Commission issued a report with the reactions to the 39 simplification suggestions which Member States jointly submitted to the Commission in April 2009. The working document provided information on the outcome of the assessment process and a state-of-play on the progress made since March 2009.
The report and further information on simplification of the CAP are available at:
Quarterly report on the dairy market
The Commission will present an updated quarterly report on the situation of the dairy market. The overall situation of the dairy market has been continuously improving in the second half of 2009 and the first half of 2010. At present, EU and world prices appear to be stabilising for most commodities despite the seasonal increase in EU and US milk production. In the EU, the main dairy commodities are priced well above intervention levels.
Health and food safety
Authorisation of six genetically modified maize varieties for food and feed
Commission proposals for decisions authorizing the use of six genetically modified maize varieties in food and feed will be presented to the Council for adoption.
The varieties concerned are:
The Council can adopt or reject the proposals by qualified majority. In the absence of a qualified majority in favour or against the proposal, it will go back to the Commission.