1. Work programme of the Presidency

  • Health Check,
  • CAP,
  • International affairs,
  • Food safety, veterinary and phytosanitary field.

For further information on the work programme of the Presidency, please refer to UECBV Note N-009-2008 (to be made available soon).

 

2. Cross compliance

The Council reached unanimous political agreement on the Presidency compromise package.

Commissioner Fischer Boel stated that she will consider the remaining outstanding issues on cross compliance in the framework of the discussion on health check.

The proposal provides for the following adjustments to Regulation (EC) No 1782/2003:

  • de minimis: the amount has been increased from EUR 50 to EUR 100. In order to reduce administrative burden, Member States can decide not to apply a reduction or exclusion amounting to EUR 100 or less per farmer and per year.
  • Minor infringements: it will be possible for Member States to apply a measure of tolerance for minor cases of non-compliance (cases not constituting a direct public and/or animal health risk).
  • Setting of the date of land disposal for eligibility under the Single Payment Scheme (SPS) ("10 months" rule): Member States will have to determine an appropriate date which should be no later than the date fixed for amendment of the aid application. The obligation made to farmers to keep the parcels corresponding to the eligible hectare for at least 10 months is thus repealed.
  • Liability: in the case of transfer of land, the farmer will be held liable with regard to any failure to fulfil the cross compliance requirements for the concerned calendar year.
  • Phasing-out for new Member States: Annex III to Regulation (EC) No 1782/2003 will apply as follows:

* part A (environment, cattle identification and registration, traceability of meat): RO and BU 1.1.2012 / other new Member States 1.1.2009;

* part B (plant health, public health, food law, TSE, notification of certain animal diseases) + part C (animal welfare for farming animals, specific rules for calves and pigs): RO and BU 1.1.2014 / other new Member States 1.1.2011.

 

3. CAP Health Check

The Council held a policy debate on the communication from the Commission, on the basis of the Presidency questionnaire.

Delegations globally supported the analysis made in the communication. The crucial role of farmers to challenge the environmental and societal changes was unanimously recognized, as well as the strategic importance of agriculture with regard to food security.

The Presidency intends to draw conclusions in March 2008 in order to allow the Commission to come back with legislative proposals in May.

The EP opinion is expected in March.

 

4. AOB

WTO-DDA negotiations: the Commission informed delegations on the state of the negotiations with regard to the agricultural chapter. Delegations expressed some concerns regarding the substance of the negotiations and the strategy followed. They invited the Commission to the forthcoming Agriculture Council meeting, and asked for a regular update on this issue.

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