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The morning session of the Informal Council, dedicated to agriculture

Luis Planas commits to innovation and research to ensure food safety

Tuesday 15 June 2021

The informal council of Agriculture and Fisheries ministers discussed the future of food systems in the face of challenges such as climate change, globalisation, technological transition, the increasing complexity of value chains and changing consumer trends. Planas alluded to the need to develop new plant varieties and to look for ways of producing crops that are better adapted to drier climatic conditions, with less rainfall and higher temperatures.

The ministers meeting in Lisbon also discussed the reform of the CAP, on which Planas assured that "there are no objective reasons" why a definitive agreement should not be reached at the next Council of Ministers of the European Union (EU) to be held in Luxembourg on 28 and 29 June.

Planas believes that "significant progress" has been made in recent days on substantive issues in the talks held by the Portuguese rotating presidency of the Council and the European Parliament.

The agreement on the reform of the CAP could not be finalised at the previous Council of Ministers on 26 and 27 May, as planned, given the need to continue the work between the Council and the European Parliament to specify the main technical aspects related to the major issues under discussion, such as green architecture, the social dimension and the alignment of the CAP with the Green Deal.

At the informal meeting in Lisbon, ministers had the opportunity to discuss the proposals that the Portuguese presidency submitted to the Special Committee on Agriculture (SCA) in order to seek an agreement.

Planas highlighted the effort made by the Council, which "has shown a clear will to increase the environmental ambition of the CAP, clearly beyond what was agreed in October, and all in the interests of reaching an agreement". As a sign of this willingness to reach an agreement with Parliament, the minister explained that with the proposal currently on the table, CAP environmental expenditure is above the 40% agreed by the heads of state and government last year in the multiannual financial framework.

Planas also highlighted the progress achieved in terms of social conditionality in the CAP, as well as the alignment of the CAP with the Farm to Table Strategy, recalling that its objectives can only become binding when they are incorporated into the relevant Community legislation.

Planas believes that the European Parliament should assess all the progress that has been made and be aware that "we have the possibility of reaching a major agreement in the coming days, the result of the work of all the European institutions".

Non official translation