Brussels, 11 November 2011
Preparation Agriculture/Fisheries Council of November 2011
The Agriculture & Fisheries Council will meet in Brussels on Monday 14 November (starting at 10.00 am). It will be chaired by Mr Marek Sawicki, Polish Minister for Agriculture & Rural Development. Commissioners Maria Damanaki, John Dalli and Dacian Cioloş will represent the Commission.
The Fisheries and Health issues will be dealt with in the morning, and the remaining Agriculture points will be treated in the afternoon. Over lunch, the Presidency has asked for Ministers to have a discussion on the "greening" of CAP direct payments.
Press conferences are scheduled for 12.30 with Commissioner Damanaki, and for 18.00 with Commissioner Ciolos.
The points on the agenda are:
External dimensions of the reform of Common Fisheries Policy
Ministers will discuss the Commission's Communication on the external dimension of the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP). This was part of the package of proposals for a reform of the CFP, adopted on 13 July (IP/11/873).
The reform foresees an active role of EU within international bodies and in its relations with third countries. Almost 85% of the world fish stocks for which information is available are reported as being either fully exploited or overexploited, according to the FAO. So, the EU has to act abroad as it does at home and promote good governance and a sound management of the sea in the rest of the world, ensuring at the same time human rights for workers in fishing industries and sustainability in sea basins and oceans around the world. These principles will guide the EU's involvement in international and regional organisations as well as in bilateral fisheries agreements with non-EU countries.
Sustainable Fisheries Agreements (SFAs) will replace the existing Fisheries Partnership Agreements (FPAs) and they will ensure that the exploitation of fishery resources takes place on the basis of sound scientific advice only targeting surplus resources that the partner country cannot or does not want to fish itself. Under SFAs, partner countries shall be compensated for granting access to their fishing resources and financial assistance shall be provided to the partner countries for the implementation of a sustainable fisheries policy.
CAP Reform Package
Following last month's general responses to the Commission's CAP reform proposals of October 12 (IP/11/1181 and MEMO/11/685), Ministers will hold a more detailed discussion on the proposed Direct Payments Regulation, based on a Presidency Questionnaire. The debate will be public.
Any Other Business (AOB)
The Presidency will report back on a recent Conference on Forestry, climate & biodiversity, including a meeting of EU Forestry & Nature Director Generals, held in Ryn (September 28-29).
The Presidency will also debrief on a recent meeting of Paying Agencies in Sopot (September 21-23).
Implementation of the directive concerning the welfare of laying hens.