The Minister of agriculture, viticulture and consumer protection of Luxembourg Fernand Etgen took part in today’s meeting of the “Council for agriculture and fisheries – reform of the cap after 2020: simplicity and subsidiarity” in Brussels.
The Council session started with the presentation of the programme of the Austrian Presidency, whose priorities will be the negotiations on the Common Agricultural Policy for the period after 2020. The main objective of the Austrian Presidency will be to find the right balance between good practices and new and innovative approaches to ensure the sustainability of the common agricultural policy project.
At their meeting, the European Ministers of Agriculture paid particular attention to the simplification and subsidiarity aspect of the European Commission’s proposals. Although Minister Fernand Etgen supported the Commission’s desire to simplify the CAP, it is clear that many questions remain to be elucidated during the next technical and political meetings.
Another point of discussion of the European Ministers of Agriculture was a joint document by the Danish, Estonian, Latvian, Lithuanian, Luxembourg, Dutch, Swedish and Finnish delegations concerning CAP conditionality and its link with the objective of simplification . Minister Fernand Etgen stated his desire to see more subsidiarity in conditionality so that he can better respond to the specific needs of the Member States. In this context, he reiterated his concern about the proposed approach of enhanced conditionality, which would mean for Luxembourg that a significant number of environmental goods provided by farmers through environmental measures could not be honoured in future in agri-environmental programs.
Finally, the Minister of Agriculture of Viticulture and Consumer Protection emphasised that support for young farmers remains a priority issue in his eyes. He stressed that the attractiveness of the sector needs to be improved to welcome young and competent entrepreneurs with innovative projects to develop, in a sustainable way, the competitiveness of the agricultural sector.