GM Maize, Simplification Of CAP And Dairy Markets

EU - The EU Council for Agriculture and Fisheries met in Luxembourg on Tuesday (29 June). Among the topics discussed were the authorisation of GM maize varieties, simplification of agriculture and veterinary legislation and the dairy market.
calendar icon 1 July 2010
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Authorisation of six genetically modified maize varieties for food and feed

Proposals for decisions authorizing the use of six genetically modified maize varieties in food and feed, excluding cultivation, have been presented to the Council for adoption. No agreement in favour or against the authorisations was reached.

The Council noted the absence of a qualified majority necessary to reach a decision in favour or against the proposals.

Simplification of agriculture legislation

Ministers held an exchange of views on the simplification of agriculture legislation following a presentation by the Commissioners in charge of Agriculture and Rural Development and Health and Consumer Policy, Dacian Ciolos and John Dalli, of the state of the play of the ongoing process in their respective area of responsibility.

18 delegations pointed out in a common note the importance of simplification of legislation which in their view should be identified as a key issue in preparation of the reform of the Common Agricultural Policy scheduled for 2013. They considered simplification as an important way to diminish the administrative burden on European farmers, streamlining rules and regulations and improving the quality of the legislation adopted.

Commissioner Dacian Ciolos recalled that during the Agriculture and Fisheries Council on 24 April 2009, a number of delegations presented a list of 39 proposals aimed at simplifying various aspects of EU agricultural legislation. In response, a Commission staff working document was issued assessing the suggestions and finally keeping 25 of them. The follow-up prepared by the Commission indicates that several recommendations have been already implemented, in particular on direct payments and eco-conditionality; the implementation of many other simplification measures should be effective for the autumn 2010 and will play a role in the proposals for the reform of the CAP after 2013 (promotion of the agricultural products, rural development, etc.).

The Commission launched in 2007 an overall action programme for reducing administrative burden identifying some possible actions in the area of the Common Agricultural Policy and food safety and animal health.

Situation on the dairy market

The opening, beginning of June 2010, of the sales of intervention stocks of butter and skimmed milk powder indicate that the market continued to recover since the last presentation at Council of the quarterly report in March 2010.

As a reaction to the crisis in the dairy sector, the Commission undertook in May 2009 to report every three months to the Council on the situation on the dairy market.

The High Level Group (HLG) established by the Commission in October 2009 was composed from representatives from all EU Member States. Major European stakeholder groups in the dairy supply chain were invited to provide oral and written input into the discussions and received contributions from academic experts and third country representatives. In the middle of June 2010, the HLG published its report recommending a broad range of measures including the enhancement of contractual relations between milk producers and milk processors, the improvement of producer organisation, the importance of developing instruments to reduce market volatility and the interest of innovation and research programmes.

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