Discussion on the market situation, especially following the invasion of Ukraine by Russia
On the basis of the European Council conclusions, ministers recalled the importance of effective coordination measures at international level to ensure a global response to food security. The ability to move stored grain out of Ukraine before the next harvest is needed both for Ukrainians and to ease international markets. With the latest information from the Commission and the member states, ministers continued their exchange of views on the situation of agricultural markets, both at global and European level, in the context of the Russian aggression against Ukraine.
Ministers also discussed the recent weather conditions in some member states, including Croatia.
In this context, sixteen delegations asked the Commission to extend, for the duration of the 2023 campaign, the principle of temporary derogations from certain provisions of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) put in place for 2022. The Commission indicated that it would rapidly come back to the Council on this matter. Ministers also reaffirmed the self-sufficiency of the European Union (EU) for most agricultural commodities thanks to the CAP and confirmed the CAP’s ability to contribute to global food security, as underlined by the European Council.
Reciprocity of standards for imported agricultural products
Ministers exchanged views on the information provided by the Commission on its recently adopted report on the application of EU health and environmental standards to imported agricultural and agri-food products. The discussion followed an earlier debate organized by the French Presidency in February 2022 on strengthening the coherence between the European Green Deal, the Common Agricultural Policy and the EU’s trade policy.
The report demonstrated the ability to implement measures, in compliance with WTO standards, in multilateral fora, in bilateral trade agreements or through autonomous measures when a production standard is introduced in European regulations. Ministers welcomed the report and stressed that in several areas, such as animal welfare, which was mentioned by many delegations, the examination of reciprocity was relevant, in particular by mobilizing multilateral forums and bilateral negotiations. They further asked that a regular follow-up of the measures implemented or planned be carried out.
Fishing opportunities for 2023
The Commission informed ministers of the state of implementation of the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP), and of the launch of the public consultation on fishing opportunities for 2023, which will run until 31 August 2022. Ministers exchanged views on the state of fish stocks and stressed the importance of ensuring equal treatment between the three pillars of the CFP, as well as the need to recognize the efforts and improvements made by the sector.
They further discussed the implementation of the landing obligation, the specificities of each sea basin, the impact of third country fisheries and the withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the EU, and the impact of other factors such as climate and pollution on the fisheries resource. Ministers additionally discussed the significant disruption to the fishing sector caused by Russia’s military aggression against Ukraine, whether it be in terms of trade flows, the development of scientific advice or the holding of certain negotiations at international level. They further mentioned the mobilization of the European Fund for Maritime Affairs, Fisheries and Aquaculture (FEAMPA) to finance crisis measures to support the sector.
Source: European Council – Press release
Spain at the Agriculture and Fisheries Council
Luis Planas attended the Council of Ministers of Agriculture and Fisheries of the European Union, where he pointed out that more ambitious standards are not only beneficial to the interests of the EU, but contribute to the achievement of legitimate objectives on global issues, in line with the One Health approach.
Referring to the situation of agricultural markets, which are heavily affected by rising prices and high volatility, especially after the invasion of Ukraine, the minister stressed the need for constant monitoring of the price and stock situation. According to him, the world cereal harvest estimate is around 2.25 billion tons, 40 million tons less than the previous season, but enough to feed the entire population.
In view of the discussions on the current Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) and its possible reform, the minister insisted on the need to strengthen such essential elements as the generational replacement, the guarantee of food supply, improving the conditions of the activity, equal treatment of our fleets with other external and international governance.
More information: Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food