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Thursday, 22 July 2010

Agricultural policy priorities of Belgian Presidency

At the 3026th Council meeting on Agriculture and Fisheries held in Brussels on 12 July 2010, Ms Sabine LARUELLE and Mr Kris PEETERS gave a brief presentation on the Belgian Presidency work programme in the agriculture and fisheries sectors. The agricultural policy priorities of the Belgian Presidency will focus mainly on the future of the common agricultural policy (CAP) after 2013 and on the dairy sector. As regards the dairy sector, the presidency reminds that the work of the high level group (HLG) on milk will constitute the ground for a initial discussion at  this Council meeting. On the veterinary, plant health and food safety sectors the emphasis will be on the roadmap on transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSE), financing animal health strategy and the framework for genetically modified organisms. The presidency stressed the importance of the agricultural aspect of the latter dossier.The priorities for fisheries policy will focus on the reform of the common fisheries policy (CFP) for which legislative proposals will be tabled for the first half of 2010. On this issue, a conference will be organised by the Commission on 16 November 2010 and the Belgian presidency intends to highlight improved cooperation between science and fisheries by setting up an international symposium on "Improved Science and Fisheries Partnership Agreements as Policy Drivers" on 9 and 10 November 2010. The symposium's findings will be put to ministers at the November Fisheries Council lunch. Finally, with regard to external policy, several regional fisheries organisations will hold their annual meeting during the Belgian presidency, such as the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tuna (ICCAT). A new negotiating mandate is needed for the part of that meeting dealing with bluefin tuna. This will be discussed at the October Council meeting.

Source: Council of the European Union