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MEMO/10/619

Brussels, 26 November 2010

Preparation Agriculture/Fisheries Council of November 2010

The Agriculture & Fisheries Council will meet in Brussels on Monday 29 November (starting at 10 a.m.) and (if necessary) Tuesday 30 November. It will be chaired for the Agriculture issues by Mrs Sabine Laruelle, Belgian minister for SMEs, the Self-Employment, Agriculture and Science Policy, and , for the points on Fisheries, by Mr Kris Peeters, Minister-President for the Flemish Region and responsible for Fisheries. Commissioners Maria Damanaki, John Dalli and Dacian Cioloş will represent the Commission at the meeting.

The Council will debate the fisheries items (deep-sea fishing opportunities, Norway agreement and long-term management plans) in the morning. Over lunch, ministers will discuss the outcome of the symposium on improved fisheries and science partnerships as policy drivers, organised by the Belgian Presidency in Ostend on 26 November. After lunch, ministers will deal with agriculture items in the afternoon session, before returning to the deep-sea fishing opportunities proposal.

The points on the agenda are:

Fisheries

Deep-sea fishing opportunities – political agreement

The Council will aim to reach political agreement on fishing opportunities for deep-sea species, based on the Commission's proposal of 6 October (IP/10/1294). In light of scientific evidence, the Commission proposed not to grant increases in fishing opportunities for deep-sea fish in EU waters and in international waters of the North-East Atlantic for 2011-2012 until positive trends in the abundance of deep-sea stocks have been properly identified. However, some important Total Allowable Catches (TACs) will be kept stable. The Commission also remains committed to phasing out fishing for deep-sea sharks and orange roughy until there is clear evidence regarding the level of unavoidable by-catch of these valuable species.

EU-Norway consultations for 2011 – information from the Commission and exchange of views

Following the exchange of views at the October Council, the Commission will report to Council on the progress in the first round of negotiations with Norway in Brussels from 16 to 18 November. Ministers will then exchange views on both the first round and the second, which will be kicking off that very day in Bergen, Norway.

Commissioner Maria Damanaki will outline the state of play on the various issues and stocks under discussion with Norway, which include cod, whiting and herring.

The bilateral Fisheries Agreement between the EU and Norway covering the fisheries on joint stocks in the North Sea has been in place since 1980. Some, but not all, of these stocks are jointly managed. Annual total allowable catches (TACs) are set by the EU and Norway for the jointly managed stocks, taking care to ensure an overall balance in the reciprocal exchange of quotas across the Agreement.

Any Other Business (AOB)

Long-term management plans

The Commission has asked for a discussion in Council on the arrangements needed to guarantee the continued success of long-term management plans under the Lisbon Treaty. The Commission is keen to resolve all outstanding issues on the future set-up of these plans with Parliament and the Member States.

Long-term management plans have been one of the Common Fisheries Policy's major achievements in the past ten years. They have become an essential tool for managing fish stocks and for providing the fishing industry with better forward planning, and mark a major step forward from detailed technical regulations towards results-based management. The Commission is eager to build on the plans' success and to continue establishing such management plans for as many stocks as possible.

Health and Food Safety

Report on the advisability and feasibility of presenting a legislative proposal enabling EFSA to receive fees - Presentation from the Commission and exchange of views

The Report will be presented by the Commission and discussed for the first time at the Council level.

Proposal concerning the non-inclusion of 1,3-dichloropropene in Annex I to Council Directive 91/414/EEC - Adoption

Commission proposed to the July 2010 SCoFCAH a second non-inclusion of 1,3-dichloropropene, after a first non-inclusion in the positive list of Dir. 91/414/EEC in 2007 because of several concerns identified by EFSA. SCoFCAH was unable to deliver an opinion on the draft Commission decision.

As a result, the Commission submitted to the Council in September 2010 the non-inclusion proposal under the comitology procedure, the Council having to act by a qualified majority.

If no qualified majority is reached, the Commission will adopt the proposal.

Conference on the review of the European plant health regime -Information from the Presidency

The Belgian Presidency has included in the agenda an information point concerning the conference "Towards a new EU plant health law", which took place in Brussels on 28 September 2010 and was co-organised by the Commission and the Belgian Presidency.

Conference on the review of the European plant health regime –Information from the Presidency

The Presidency would like to inform Member States on the International Conference on Animal Welfare Education that was held in Brussels on 1-2 October 2010. The Conference brought together experts such as academics, officials, teachers, veterinarians and NGO representatives from all over the world. Its broad aim was to increase citizens' awareness and respect for animals as well as educate children about how animals should be treated.

Agriculture

Communication "The CAP towards 2020"

On 18 November, the European Commission published a Communication on "the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) towards 2020 – Meeting the food, natural resources and territorial challenges of the future". The reform aims at making the European agriculture sector more dynamic, competitive, and effective in responding to the Europe 2020 vision of stimulating sustainable growth, smart growth and inclusive growth. The paper outlines three options for further reform. Following discussion of these ideas, the Commission will present formal legislative proposals in mid-2011.

The Communication will be presented by Commissioner Dacian Cioloş and will be followed by an exchange of views where Ministers will be invited to give brief, overall, initial reactions on the Communication.

The Communication, press release and other documents can be found on the internet at:

http://ec.europa.eu/agriculture/cap-post-2013/communication/index_en.htm

This point will be public and can be followed in the press room of the Council.

Report on the Farm Advisory System

Under the 2003 CAP reform Member States had the obligation to establish (by 2007) a system for advising farmers on land and farm management, the so-called Farm Advisory System (FAS) in order to help farmers to become more aware of on-farm processes relating to the environment, food safety and animal health and welfare. The Commission has now produced a report on the system - not to offer an exhaustive overview, but to provide input for a debate in the Council and the European Parliament in the course of 2010-2011. The report proposes to improve the management of the FAS: ensuring that knowledge is shared between actors and that synergies between various instruments such as advice, training, information, extension services and research are enhanced. A FAS advisor should act as a ‘general practitioner’, interlinking all different aspects of farming. He should explain to farmers not only EU requirements but also their objectives, and the underlying policies.

The report is available at:

http://ec.europa.eu/agriculture/farm-advisory-system/index_en.htm

Any Other Business (AOB)

  • 2011 budget: Information from the Commission

  • Conference on Agriculture, Food Security and Climate Change (The Hague, 30 October – 5 November): Information from the Dutch delegation

  • French Presidency of the G20 and volatility of agricultural markets: Information from the French delegation.


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