The diversity of European agriculture at the heart of EU policies
The new Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) for the period 2014-2020 recognises and bases its implementation in the wide diversification of the European agriculture across the EU
Greek Minister of Rural Development and Food and AgriFish Council Chairman, A.Tsaftaris highlights the key issue on the agenda: “AGRidiversity»: the diversity of European agriculture at the heart of EU policies”.
The diversity of EU agriculture as a competitive advantage of the EU is the central issue on the agenda of the Council of Ministers for Agriculture and Fisheries, taking place in Athens from 4 to 6 May (Zappeion Megaron). The Minister of Rural Development and Food and President of the Agrifish Council, will welcome his counterparts of the Member States for the meeting, in which representatives of the European Commission and the Council Secretariat will also participate.
The Greek Presidency has chosen the symbolic title aGRidiversity for its initiative «Transforming the European Agricultural Diversity into Strength." Diversity covers all aspects from the capacity of the production, to the environmental and social-economic conditions among Member States and the regions of the EU, while the new Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) for the period 2014-2020 recognises and bases its implementation in the wide diversification of the European agriculture across the EU.
The choice of the topic highlights the Greek Presidency’s belief that diversity is a competitive advantage of the EU towards its trading partners, in the current globalised context and a driving force for the economy. It leads to enormous diversification of processed products, of the structures and production methods, responding effectively to the needs and demands of society for quality products, but also for public goods and it is a driving force for enhancing sustainability and local development, which relays on the agricultural sector.
The aim of the Greek Presidency is for the discussions of the EU Ministers to conclude in a clear orientation for the mobilization of policies and instruments, which through the preservation and promotion of agricultural diversity will demonstrate the contribution of agriculture to the long term development of the economy, society, and the sustainable management of natural resources. It can also help attract young people to this sector, which offers extensive potential for creating productive jobs and for family farming, addressing the impact of climate change.
The discussion will be based on the questions included in the document prepared by the Greek Presidency. The Ministers and the European Commission will be invited to comment on the ways that EU agricultural diversity will become an asset for European farmers and the European economy in the current global context. They will also be invited to suggest the policy measures and tools of the new CAP, which can be mobilized in order to preserve and build on the diversity as well as the ways in which Member States will use the flexibility provided by the new CAP to exploit their potential in the most effective way.