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MEMO/11/33

Brussels, 21 January 2011

Preparation Agriculture/Fisheries Council of January 2011

The Agriculture & Fisheries Council will meet in Brussels on Monday 24 January (starting at 11 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 "Health" issues will be dealt with in the morning. In the afternoon, "Agriculture" points will be treated.

The points on the agenda are:

Working programme of the Presidency

The Hungarian Presidency will outline the main priorities in the field of agriculture, food safety and fisheries for the first semester of 2011.

Health

Honeybee health

Beekeeping is a widely-developed activity in the EU. There are about 700,000 beekeepers in the Union, most of who enjoy beekeeping as a hobby. Healthy bees are important both for honey production and as pollinators of plants, such as fruit trees. In recent years, an increase in bee mortality has been reported in several countries around the world.

On 6 December 2010, the European Commission set out its ideas on a series of specific actions to get a better understanding of the reasons behind the high bee mortality worldwide (see IP/10/1667). So far, scientific studies have determined neither the exact causes nor the precise extent of the problem. The Commission has launched a number of initiatives to address the concerns of the beekeeping sector, and other actions are already in the pipeline.

Commissioner John Dalli will present the Communication to the Ministers.

More information on beekeeping and bee health can be found on the internet at:

http://ec.europa.eu/food/animal/liveanimals/bees/index_en.htm

Any other business

  • Information on the present dioxin situation in Germany

  • Request for additional action against highly contagious infection diseases originating in neighbouring third countries (Latvian demand)

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.

Ministers will have an orientation debate - based on a questionnaire from the Presidency – on the second main objective of the Commission communication: "Sustainable management of natural resources and climate action".

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

Any Other Business (AOB)

  • Situation on the pig meat sector (requested by Belgian delegation and supported by Irish delegation).

  • Information on the UK foresight project on "the future of food and farming"


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