From Monday to Thursday in the European capital

Luis Planas begins an intense week of activities in Brussels with EU institutions

News - 2023.9.18

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The acting Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food will also make a series of appearances in the European Parliament, as well as various high-level meetings in which matters related to the Spanish Presidency of the EU Council will be discussed.

Agriculture and Fisheries Council

Luis Planas chairs today the Council of Ministers for Agriculture and Fisheries of the European Union. On agriculture, ministers will discuss the soil health directive and agricultural issues related to trade and the future of rural areas. This last point will be discussed at the High Level Forum on Rural Policy "Shaping the future of rural areas", which will take place in Sigüenza (Guadalajara) on 27-29 September.

This meeting aims to analyse the progress made in each Member State in relation to the Rural Pact launched by the EU Executive in 2022. The European Rural Pact is a cooperation framework between authorities and agents linked to the rural environment at European, national, regional and local levels.

In the area of fisheries, the Council of Ministers' agenda includes an exchange of views on the annual consultations between the EU and the UK on fishing opportunities for 2024, as well as with Norway and coastal states.

In addition, the Spanish Presidency will inform ministers of the results of the United Nations Food Systems Summit held in Rome (Italy) last July.

Before the Council begins, Luis Planas will hold a meeting with the Commissioners for Agriculture and Rural Development, Janusz Wojciechowski, and for the Environment, Oceans and Fisheries, Virginijus Sinkevicius. As well as with representatives of cooperatives and community-based farming organisations.

Hearings in the European Parliament

On Tuesday (18) and Wednesday (19), the minister will appear before the European Parliament's Agriculture and Rural Development and Fisheries Committees to present the priorities of the Spanish Presidency.

In the first of these, the minister will analyse the state of agricultural markets, the legislation on geographical indications, the directive amending the "breakfast" regulation, the regulation on the sustainable use of phytosanitary products, the rules on plant and forest reproductive material, animal welfare, opportunities in the rural world and the New Genomic Techniques (NTG).

The latter issue was the focus of the recent Informal Meeting of Ministers in Cordoba on 3-5 September. The aim is to reach a joint position in order to start negotiations with the European Parliament on the future NTG regulation.

On Monday afternoon, the minister will preside over a welcoming ceremony at the headquarters of the Permanent Representation of Spain to the European Union, on the occasion of the Spanish semester of the EU Council.

In the Fisheries Committee, Planas will reiterate the three main priorities in this area on which Spain is working during its Presidency of the European Council: the decarbonisation of the fleet, the strengthening of the Community Fisheries Policy (CFP) and the improvement of the decision-making procedure on Total Allowable Catches (TACs).

The first point was addressed at the Informal Meeting of Ministers in Vigo last July. On 28 and 29 September, the EU Directors-General for Fisheries will hold a meeting in Malaga, where they will discuss the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) from the point of view of food safety.

On Tuesday, the minister will also attend a meeting with members of the Association of Fisheries Producers' Organisations of the Cantabrian Sea (OPPs Cantábrico), who have organised an exhibition within the framework of the Spanish Presidency to showcase their work. There are currently 37 recognised Producer Organisations in Spain, of which 5 are transnational, 5 are national and 27 are regional. Spain ranks second in the EU after Italy.

Meeting with the Commissioner for Health and Food Safety

The minister will close his agenda in Brussels on Thursday, with a meeting with the Commissioner for Health and Food Safety, Stella Kyriakides, with whom he will discuss matters relating to the Presidency of the Union and the Spanish agri-food sector.

Spain has classified as priority dossiers during this semester the legislation on NTG-produced plants, animal welfare legislation and the proposal for a regulation on geographical indications.

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