Common Agricultural Policy and Common Fisheries Policy
Paris, September 29, 2011
Bruno Le Maire, Minister for Agriculture, Food, Fisheries, Rural Affairs and Town and Country Planning, has today had a meeting in Paris with Simon Coveney, the Irish Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, to prepare the forthcoming negotiations on reforms to the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) and Common Fisheries Policy (CFP).
On the CAP, the two ministers recalled the strategic importance of agriculture to Europe’s future and the need to promote sustainable agricultural and food production. They agreed on the following priorities in the framework of the forthcoming CAP reform:
to guarantee that the negotiations on the Multiannual Financial Framework lead to a stabilization of the CAP budget at the current levels, in order to support sustainable agricultural production in the European Union;
to give member states the necessary flexibility regarding the practicalities of distributing aid and the pace of convergence in the Single Payment Scheme (SPS) for farmers;
to guarantee that the future “greening” of direct aid is simple for both farmers and authorities to implement and does not entail extra costs; the scale of greening must be determined according to the overall CAP budget;
to ensure regulation of the agricultural markets, thanks in particular to market tools that allow flexible responses to economic and health crises;
to guarantee as simple and effective a CAP as possible and minimize the bureaucratic obstacles for farmers and the costs to the authorities.
Bruno Le Maire and Simon Coveney reiterated their commitment to the livestock farming sector and, in this context, their vigilance regarding trade negotiations with Mercosur. The two ministers invited the Commission to develop the recommendations of the high-level group on beef, which met in July 2011, on the initiative of 11 member states, to define regulation appropriate to the beef sector in Europe in the framework of the new CAP, which requires crisis prevention and management tools.
Bruno Le Maire and Simon Coveney reiterated their commitment to the future of the European Food Aid Programme for the Most Deprived (PEAD) and called for the European Commission’s proposals to be adopted in order to guarantee food aid in Europe. Solidarity with the most deprived must continue, particularly at this time of economic crisis.
Regarding the reform of the Common Fisheries Policy, the two ministers agreed to work together to guarantee the success of the negotiations. In particular:
the two ministers reaffirmed the collective and inalienable nature of fisheries resources, incompatible with a market in transferable individual fishing concessions as proposed by the Commission;
Bruno Le Maire and Simon Coveney insisted on their commitment to measures aimed at increasing the selectivity of fisheries, protecting non-target species like juvenile fish and avoiding discards. They agreed on the need to continue work on discards and maximum sustainable yields;
the two ministers expressed support for simplified governance of the CFP in the definition of the technical and management measures at the level of maritime regions. Such governance must be based on an enhanced implementation of the principle of subsidiarity and greater participation by the different players involved at the level of each fishery.