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Brussels, 16 May 2011

Preparation Agriculture/Fisheries Council of May 2011

The Agriculture & Fisheries Council will meet in Brussels on Tuesday 17 May (starting at 11.00 a.m.). It will be chaired by Mr Sándor Fazekas, Hungarian Minister for Rural Development. Commissioners John Dalli and Dacian Cioloş will represent the Commission at the meeting.

The points on the agenda are:


Legally Binding Agreement on forests in Europe

The Sixth Ministerial Conference on the Protection of Forests in Europe will take place between 14-16 June 2011 in Oslo, Norway. Over 40 European States, among them all EU Member States, are expected to attend this Conference, which is organised jointly by Norway and Spain.

The forest policy discussion under the Ministerial Conferences, renamed Forest Europe (see www/foresteurope/org) in 2009, is an inter-governmental, country-led process launched in 1990 with the objective of promoting the sustainable management of Europe’s forests. It operates by voluntary commitments of its current 47 signatories. The EU has been a party in the process since its beginning, and, so far, has signed all its resolutions and declarations.

Since 1990, five Ministerial Conferences have taken place. For these Conferences the Commission, represented by the Commissioner for Agriculture, was authorised by the Council to participate on behalf of the European Union and to sign the ministerial declarations and resolutions alongside the Member States.

The Sixth Ministerial Conference on the Protection of Forests in Europe is expected to adopt two types of decisions:

  • Legally binding: on the opening of the negotiations and establishing an International Negotiating Committee having a mandate to develop a legally binding agreement on forests in Europe. The Rules of Procedure which will apply to the International Negotiating Committee will be in the annex to that decision.

  • Non-legally binding: on developing new vision, mission, goals and targets for the Forest Europe process, as well as national and European actions to be implemented on a voluntary basis, as it was the case with ministerial declarations and resolutions of the previous ministerial conferences.

The Commission therefore asks (see COM/11/177) the Council for a mandate to:

  • participate, on behalf of the EU, in the 6th Forest Europe Conference;

  • and sign, on behalf of the EU and alongside the Member States the Oslo Ministerial Decisions.

Any Other Business (AOB)

  • Information from the Presidency on a Conference on "Transition towards sustainable food consumption and production in a resource constrained world" (Budapest, 4-5 May 2011)

  • Information from the Commission on the Conclusions of the Enlarged Advisory Group on Pig Meat

  • Request from Poland to increase the intervention price of cereals.

  • Request from Poland to increase the sugar production quota

  • French presidency of the G20 and volatility of agricultural markets: information from the French delegation

  • Drought situation in Northern Europe (French demand)

Health and food safety

Any Other Business (AOB)

  • Commission's report on the protection of animals during transport (request from Sweden). Regulation (EC) No 1/2005 on the protection of animals during transport foresees that the Commission shall present a report on the impact of the Regulation. The report is under preparation and will give an overall picture of the present situation and the possible shortcomings. The report is planned to be adopted in September 2011.

  • Report on Codex Alimentarius negotiations progress and prospects: Information from the Hungarian Presidency. The Presidency will inform Member States about the main achievements of the EU in the Codex Alimentarius Commission (CAC). The Codex Alimentarius develops international food standards across a wide range of subjects. These standards are important as they are directly relevant to international trade and are also considered to be a point of reference in cases of trade disputes in the World Trade Organisation (WTO).

  • Information of the Lithuanian delegation on the International Conference on "Animal welfare in the Baltic region – responsible ownership and best practices" held in the Lithuanian Parliament. On May 5-6, 2011 the First International Conference on Animal Welfare in the Baltic region “Responsible ownership and best practices” was held in the Lithuanian Parliament. The aim of the Conference was to draw public attention and to promote responsible attitudes towards pets and strengthen animal welfare policy in the Baltic countries.

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