AGRI-FISH COUNCIL: FOCUS ON DISCUSSION ON CAP PRESIDENCY’s REPORT & INFO POINTS

In a nutshell:

-Views over the progress report on the Post-2020 CAP reform package

—>  At the opening of this last round of Council meetings under the Finnish Presidency, the Finnish Minister specified that this progress report on the reform was neither an exhaustive inventory of the positions expressed nor even the Council’s position for future interinstitutional negotiations, and that the report therefore did not require the consent of delegations.

—>  The vast majority of delegations expressed their satisfaction with the progress report on the CAP reform presented by the outgoing Finnish Presidency, considering that it accurately reflected the state of play and highlighted the points still open.

Budget

Delegations (12) recalled the need for a strong CAP budget, commensurate with the requirements of the Green Deal, with some specifying that the budget should be maintained at the current level of 27 in current euro (FR, AT, SP, BG, CY, RO, IE, CZ).

Green architecture

The Presidency’s proposal for a single common percentage for environmental and climate measures is supported by many delegations (EE, PT, SP, LU, DK, CY, SL, DE, SE, CZ), but others prefer the current provisions proposed by the EC (AT, RO, IE). The list of measures to be included still needs to be clarified (PT, SP, SL CZ, LT).

Exemption from cross compliance requirements for small farmers is still required from EE, HU, EL, BG, CY, MT. The Presidency’s proposal is not a simplification in the PT’s view.

Regulation strategic plans

The compulsory nature of Ecoscheme within the first pillar is still a matter of debate, with FR, SE and NL in favour, while AT, HU and MT are opposed.

The governance of plans is still a problem for EU federal states (BE, IT, SP).

The common definition of “real farmer” is still to be clarified (SP).

Horizontal regulation

The new governance model still raises many questions and expectations (14 delegations) in terms of clarification (definition of unit amounts, frequency of performance evaluation), simplification (reduction in the number of performance indicators in particular) and increased flexibility.

As regards coupled support, several delegations were in favour of maintaining the 15% rate (FR, HU, CY, CZ, BG), in particular to encourage increased EU production of plant proteins.

As regards the capping of aid, CZ remains attached to the voluntary nature, while AT and EE endorsed the Presidency’s proposal.

LV, RO, CZ and LT called for further work on the external convergence of direct payments within the EU, with DK and CY expressly opposing it.

LT and RO were in favour of maintaining the EUR 2 000 threshold for the application of financial discipline.

PT and HU called for the continuation of investment measures in irrigation in order to foster farm resilience in a context of climate change.

CMO Regulation

The obligation to include environmental and climate measures in sectoral interventions still elicits rejection, regulatory tools to deal with market disruptions are still expected, and the reduction of the envelopes for school programs is met with disapproval.

Finally, with regard to the Green Deal, PT and DE expressed their satisfaction with the central role given to agriculture through the Farm to fork strategy, and with the possibility of translating the ambition of this deal into strategic plans.

—> In concludings remarks, Commissioner Wojciechowski speaking to the ones opposing the external convergence, told that everyone needs support. He was convinced that farmers from all MS deserve better protection & better support for the budget. The need was to avoid competition between farmers and MS, optimize across the board. He mentioned the Green Deal as a historic opportunity that we shall seize upon. He also stressed that we need to convince people and decision maker that it is worth to support agriculture and farmers.

-‘Any other Business items’ 

—>  Long-term funding of the EU Minor Uses Coordination Facility (EUMUCF)

The new Commissioner for Health and Food Safety Stella Kyriakides was pleased to hear the almost unanimous support of delegations for the coordinating body. She also recalled that the coordinating body is part of the OneHealth initiative.

—>   Information to consumers on the origin of food products

Commissioner Stella Kyriakides described the subject as “sensitive”, with “strong and divergent views among Member States”, saying that what matters is the interest of consumers, which is changing and is now moving towards greater transparency, particularly on origin. “We must assume and meet expectations and I understand the measures taken by the Member States”.

Recalling that the implementing act will enter into force in April 2020, the Commissioner said that while several Member States had said they were waiting for the EC to evaluate the experiments, it was the MS that were evaluating, with the EC then working to compile the MSs’ evaluations of their pilot experiments.

The Commissioner concluded by stressing that there are more and more national experiences and that this is not a long-term solution. “A functioning Internal Market is essential, we will come back to information on the origin of products under the F2F strategy”.  

—>  Impact of US tariffs on European agrifood products

Commissionner Wojciechowski stressed that EC closely monitors the impact of US sanctions in order to evaluate any need for specific measure, and that EC is trying  to find a negotiated solution with US.

He also added that: 1° – CAP foresees some instruments that could mitigate the effects if so needed; All the instruments of the CAP that are at our disposal will be used in order to remedy the situation 2° – EU resolves the possibility to apply sanctions on US products once the Boeing case is finished 3° – COM is opening up new markets with FTAs 4° – EC will regularly give update on this important issue and is in close cooperation with Commissioner Hogan

 

—> Indicative dates : next planned Agri-Fish Council on 27 January 2020

full version available on FE members area 

“Shaping EU agriculture, rural areas and wealth for the next decades”

PRESS RELEASE

GLOBAL FOOD FORUM DEFINES ACTIONS TO BE TAKEN FOR A TRULY EFFICIENT CAP REFORM WITHIN THE GREEN DEAL

“Shaping EU agriculture, rural areas and wealth for the next decades”

Brussels, 10 December 2019 – The 4th edition of the Global Food Forum took place on the 2nd and 3rd of December at the European Parliament in Brussels, gathering more than 300 political, economic and institutional decision-leaders as well as representatives of the civil society and academics. The event was an opportunity to draw orientations for the future of EU policies with having an impact on EU agri- food systems including the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) and its relation to the proposed Farm to Fork Strategy and the European Green Deal. A full report of this participatory process will be presented later next year to EU leaders.

As stated in its opening of the 2019 Global Food Forum, it is time to declare an economic, social and environmental emergency for EU agriculture. European agriculture, its rural areas and farmers are facing more challenges than ever and currently today do not have the sufficient tools to be able to overcome them by themselves. Thus, given the societal, economic and environmental challenges to be met, the European Union needs a CAP that is strong, effective, common and adapted to the realities of a European Union’s rich diversity. A CAP able to last for at least a decade and can successfully outline which agricultural and food systems and what kind of rural areas we want for Europeans by 2035.

Hence, the CAP must become again an investment policy for the future of the European Union and must aim to meet the objectives of not only ensuring the food security and a correct level of incomes for the farmers but to effectively preserve the environment and maintain a strong agricultural network, a basis of territorial development for the EU, in order to keep the European Union as the world’s largest exporter of agricultural and food goods.

The challenge for those who have to decide on future European policies is not only to reconcile societal expectations and economic challenges but to put them in synergy by focusing the CAP on the challenge of the dual performance of our agriculture: no economic benefit without more environmental protection, no environmental protection without economic benefit.

Throughout the Global Food Forum, MEPs, speakers and participants had the chance to engage in a fruitful discussion – be it on the use of blockchain, questions on nutrition and innovation, sectorial strategies for meat and wine, trade relations or on the decarbonization of agriculture – on how to center the actions to make once again the “EU agri-food sectors as front runners of EU future.”

 

Amongst others to do so, the CAP reform shall focus:

  • on the incentive for a transition of European agriculture towards carbon neutral agricultural systems,
  • on the investments and innovations in farms and the food chain – as agricultural sectors need to seize digital opportunities quickly both for their relationships with consumers and their economic and environmental performance –,
  • on securing European farmers against risks and crisis by combining basic direct aid, support for climate risk insurance tools and mutual funds for income stabilization and an effective European crisis management reserve
  • and finally on the promotion of a quality European food model, diversified for all European citizens that can fight against the risk of a two tiers’ nutrition in Europe stratified on social classes.

Such actions can pave the way forward in finding the right CAP with the right tools to implement it and help European farmers so that in exchange they can help Europe and its citizens.

Thus, overall the CAP reform should be designed as to develop such strategies, to implement the core of an efficient Green Deal when it comes to farming, managing rural areas, shaping a balanced food chain and putting nutrition and good food at the very heart of Europeans’ habits.

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The 2019 Global Food Forum has been notably under the patronage and chair of MEPs Dacian Ciolos, Paolo De Castro, Anne Sander, Peter Jahr, Simona Bonafè, Marie-Pierre Vedrenne, Jérémy Decerle, Martin Hlavacek and Irène Tolleret.

More details on the event and press contact: https://www.farm-europe.eu/evenement/global-food- forum-2019/ or at info@farm-europe.eu

Twitter: @FarmEurope #GlobalFoodForum2019

« Time to declare an economic, social and environmental emergency for EU agriculture »

PRESS RELEASE
THE 4TH EDITION OF THE GLOBAL FOOD FORUM ABOUT TO KICK OFF

« Time to declare an economic, social and environmental emergency for EU agriculture »

Brussels, 2 December 2019 – The fourth edition of the Global Food Forum (GFF2019), organised by Farm Europe takes place on this 2nd & 3rd December at the heart of the European Union in the European Parliament in Brussels. Dacian Ciolos, President of Renew Europe and former Prime Minister and Commissioner for Agriculture, will open the event with Paolo De Castro, MEP and former Minister of Agriculture of Italy and Christiane Lambert, President of FNSEA.

The Global Food Forum has represented in the last years the opportunity to initiate and stimulate a proactive dialogue between European and national decision makers, representatives of our society, agricultural organizations, industry experts and researchers. The main purpose of this initiative has been and still is to be able to channel this renewed ambition for European agri-food systems into coherent and effective policies and to actively contribute to the creation of a new ambition for EU food systems.

By managing around 70% of the European surface and providing quality food to over 500 million citizens, the CAP is the main economic lever for achieving sustainability for agricultural models and all rural areas of the EU. Furthermore, the CAP and European farmers will be essential if the aim is truly to make the European New Green Deal and the “Farm to Fork” sustainable food strategy, announced by the new President of the European Commission, a success.

It is precisely in this context that Farm Europe is organizing the fourth edition of the Global Food Forum focusing attention on the theme: “EU agri-food sectors as front runners of EU future”.

Our rural areas and our agriculture are facing an emergency situation that requires a triple mobilization without delay. Today, it is necessary to declare a triple emergency for the European Union, for its agriculture and its rural areas: a social, an environmental and an economic emergency.

Within these two days and during two plenary sessions and 7 workshops – covering innovation, food chain, energy, resilience, carbon neutrality, nutrition and sectorial challenges – the event will focus on the best levers to promote the economic and environmental performance of EU agri-food systems while designing the best policy tools to achieve a common ambition at EU level, in particular via the future Common Agricultural Policy and the Green New Deal’s proposed Farm to Fork Strategy. The GFF2019 is gathering more than 300 participants from all across Europe.

The wrap-up closing session will discuss synergies between the CAP and EU sustainable food strategy with the involvement of Agriculture and Rural Development Committee Chair Norbert Lins, Christophe Hansen, Paolo De Castro and Ettore Prandini, President of Coldiretti.

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The 2019 Global Food Forum is notably under the patronage and chair of MEPs Dacian Ciolos, Paolo De Castro, Anne Sander, Peter Jahr, Simona Bonafè, Marie-Pierre Vedrenne, Jérémy Decerle, Martin Hlavacek and Irène Tolleret.

More details on the event and press contact : https://www.farm-europe.eu/evenement/global-food- forum-2019/ or at info@farm-europe.eu Twitter: @FarmEurope #GlobalFoodForum2019

Negotiations for the EU budget: the agreement will wait until 2020

Whether only three of them meeting in an informal way or all gathered in the Council of the EU, the majority of the agriculture ministers of the Member States continue to plead for the maintenance of the budget of the CAP in the future Multiannual Financial Framework. On the side of the European Parliament, the new legislature confirmed the position of the previous one for a strong contribution of the Member States to the Community budget. The Commission has noted the impossibility of an agreement on the MFF by the end of the year.

 

October: highlights in chronology

07/10 Meeting of the German, Polish and French Ministers

08/10 Warning cry for cohesion policy and EAFRD

09/10 Commission calls to decide on the EU budget

10/10 The new legislature of the European Parliament confirms the position of the outgoing parliament

14/10 The joint declaration presented to the Agriculture and Fisheries Council

18/10 Precise Negotiating Framework Required for December Summit

28/10 Concerns of member states’ parliaments at the Helsinki meeting

30/10 No agreement on the future MFF in 2019

 

full note available on FE Members area 

Agri-fish Council: Focus on the discussion on post 2020 CAP reform package& Regulations for Cap transitional rules

In a nutshell:

-CAP Reform Package 

—>  The Presidency recalled that delegations to the Council in July were mostly in favor of an increased environmental and climate ambition, accompanied by sufficient funding, a reduced administrative burden for all and a sufficiently flexible agricultural policy to take into account the specificities of MS.

The Presidency therefore proposes to continue to build the green architecture of the new CAP with a view to an increased environmental and climate ambition, a common percentage or fixed amount per MS. Funding for ecological programs could be strengthened by specific amounts or percentages for MS to organize by allocating interventions among pillars.

The presidency also stressed the contribution to the climate and the environment of the CAP, as well as the commonality of this policy.

—> The majority of MS expressed their support for the principle of a single common share for environmental and climate measures on both pillars proposed by the Council Presidency. However, they added that there were still a lot of technical details to be clarified, and especially that it would be arbitrary and premature to fix now a specific part and amounts. This is mainly due to the state of play of the negotiations on the CAP budget in the next MFF, but also the work remaining to be done on the list of measures to be included in this device proposed by the Presidency.

On this second aspect, the MSs overwhelmingly proposed measures to be added to the proposed list, such as basic income support, or all or part of the aid for areas subject to natural constraints.

While the treatment of small farms as part of the cross-compliance controls and the mandatory or non-mandatory nature of the eco schemes continue to divide the delegations, most of them have expressed their support for the increased level of climate and environmental ambition within the CAP. To this wish, many delegations also associated that of financial resources with this objective, by maintaining the budget of the CAP at the level of that of the EU at 27 and at current prices.

—> Latvia presented a joint statement with Poland, Estonia and Lithuania to include liming of acid soils in the list of measures.

-Regulations on CAP transitional rules

—>  – The Finnish Presidency aims to have the first proposal on flexibility be adopted by the fast-track producer. So far indications have shown that this adoption without amendment should be possible – EP shares this point of view

– The second one – a more substantial – lays down transitional provisions for the year 2021 and it amends all 4 basic acts plus the Regulation on agriculture in the outermost regions. This one needs more discussion in Council and EP, co-legislators aim adoption for mid-2020

—>  While several delegations favored an extension of the transition period, considering that one year would be too short, other delegations called for not postponing the implementation of the new CAP beyond 2022. Several delegations also supported the joint statement submitted by Bulgaria.

—>  Bulgaria presented a joint statement with CY, CZ, PO, RO to include the possibility to apply the transitional national support under Art 37 Regulation 1307/2013 at financial levels not lower than those of 2020

—> In concludings remarks, Commissioner Hogan said that: “we could remove many of the concerns if we can get agreement on MFF and CAP reform in 2020. Transitional national aids regulation was introduced may years ago before the last reform with a phasing out schedule at the end of 2020 therefore it is consistent with the agreement made in 2013 hence not in the COM proposal. In relation to 3,9% POSEI reduction, there is no problem from EC’s point of view if this money is reinstalled. On the possibility to use the rural programs of 2014-2020 in the context of these transitional regulations and those the n+3 continue to apply, the commissioner replied that the n+3 rule continues to apply, MS extending the rural development programs will be able to continue to implement them up to the 31st of December 2024. Technical level will be able to continue the work, but would strongly advise that both of the transitional regulations are speedily implemented otherwise MS will run the risk of some financial programs and risks in rural development programs in 2021”.

—> Indicative dates : next next planned Agri-Fish Council on December, 16&17, Brussels 
full version of the Council report available on FE members area

DO NECPs FROM THE 28 MEMBER STATES MEET EU TRANSPORT DECARBONISATION TARGETS?

According to the Governance of the energy union and climate action rules, Member States are required to establish a 10-year Integrated National Energy and Climate Plan (NECP) for the period from 2021 to 2030 in order to meet the EU’s new energy and climate targets for 2030. These Plans shall cover the five dimensions of the energy union on a common template so that the European Commission can be able monitor EU wide progress (as a whole) towards achieving these targets.

The draft NECPs of the Member States were already assessed and analysed by the Commission and the Member States have until the end of 2019 to submit their final, modified NECPs accordingly.

This study aims to contribute to this discussion on the state of the draft NECPs from the perspective of the transport sector. It examines all the 28 draft NECPs from this point of view, underlining the importance of the need to make vital efforts in this area for Europe to succeed and reach its energy and climate targets. It focuses on the question whether or not the proposed measures, ambitions and tools in these draft Plans are truly able to effectively contribute to the decarbonisation of the European transport sector.

Results of these study will be discuss in the Euractiv event on November, 27th 

Negotiations on CAP reform: none of the dossiers could be considered “closed”

 October was marked as follows:

 

  • On the EU Council side, Ministers reiterated that none of the reform dossiers could be considered “closed” to date.
  • On Parliament’s side, the Conference of Presidents has given the green light for a presentation of the reports of the reform in plenary at a date to set …
  • The Commission has unveiled the provisions for the transitional period.

 

October: highlights in chronology

08/10 Commissioner-designate’s point of view

14/10 Agri-Fish Council: nothing can be considered “closed”

16/10 Green light for CAP’s reports

23/10 A proposal for the CAP raising questions

31/10 The legislative “package” for the transition unveiled

 

full note available on FE Members area 

 

 

Wine sector: US retaliation on the back

1) This month started with the WTO announcement on 2 October over the U.S-EU Airbus subsidies case. The U.S. has been given the right to request a total amount of $7.5 billion (annually) equal to 6.9 billion euro incountermeasures with respect to the European Union and some EU member states, with October 18 as the effective date of additional duties. It has to be highlighted, that the US retaliation list is heavier on additional tariffs for agriculture products than for aircraft – 25% as compared to 10%.

In this regard, Spanish, French and Italian Agriculture Ministers took the floor during this month’s Agri-Fish Council in Luxembourg (14-15 October), and voiced their concerns respectively on the damaging impact on olive oil and table olives (ES), cheeses (IT) and wine (FR), among the most affected agri-food products.

2) Key topics for the wine sector as internationalization, innovation, trade dynamics, finance, digital transformation & competitiveness were at the core of the Wine Business Forum, which was held during the Milan Wine Week (6-13 October 2019), and which gathered more than 100 winemakers, businesses and experts.

3) Winemakers in France are changing their practices in an effort to adapt to the current changing environment and climatic hazards. Labels like organic, biodynamic and the so-called “high environmental value”certifications (HVE) are gaining traction, among them, and among consumers as well.

4) In terms of wine market figures, latest forecast by DG AGRI (October 2019) show that this year the EU28 wine production will return to a normal level, after the exceptional 2018 harvest of 189 million hectoliters. Estimates indicate a total wine production for 2019/2020 at around 161 Mio hectoliters.

 

full note available on FE members area 

Potential impact of a proposal of CAP 1st pillar aids based on AWU across the EU

A department reporting to the French Prime minister tabled last week a report proposing to consider a switch from 1st pillar aids per ha to a payment per AWU (and eventually the remaining part of the 1st pillar budget per ha). 

It suggested a 8000 €/AWU which would not be doable in any case as it would request more than 66 billions euros to finance such a scheme (to be compared to the 44 b€ of 1st pillar budget!). 

In the EU, current 1st pillar budget is equivalent to 5336 €/AWU.

Here below is a first estimation of what would imply such a proposal in terms of 1st pillar repartition between Member states (in case of a 8000 €/AWU and of a 5336 €/AWU) as well as estimated impact on farms’ incomes. The « proposal »  has been simulated for French farms of respectively 60 ha (and 1 AWU), 100 ha and 200 ha (1AWU) and 200ha with 2AWU. 

Figures speak by themselves!

The idea of farmers receiving a kind of “social minimum income” with as a result a farming sector loosing its competitiveness and the UE most of the added value generated by its agri-food sectors seems quite strange.
Budgetfor8000or5336euros:AWU:year
Max:AWUtorespect1stpillar
Frenchestimatedimpact

Will Eating Good Quality Healthy Food Become a Privilege in Europe ?

“Consumers today want it all: healthy, tasty, convenient, sustainable and affordable food. Sustainability and traceability are key requirements but very few shoppers are ready to pay a premium for these new benefits. People switch brands and products for sustainability and traceability reasons but these additional features comes with additional costs and do not bring any value.

This requires a value chain and business model overhaul. Otherwise, eating good quality healthy sustainable and traceable food will become a privilege of the happy few. Low income populations already massively suffer from diabetes and obesity in Europe…

There is an urgent need for all European food system actors, from regulators to farmers, including retail and food manufacturers, to work together.

They need to reconsider the way we farm, trade, eat and dispose of food with the help of innovative and consumer-centric solutions.”

 

This topic will be part of working sessions in the Global Food Forum 2019, EP, Brussels 2&3 December #EUGlobalFoodForum

To read the entire post: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/eating-good-quality-healthy-food-become-privilege-europe-sangouard/