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21 June, 2024
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MED9 ministers align on crisis strategies for agriculture

Joint statement highlights Mediterranean agricultural challenges

Newsroom / CNA

The Agriculture Ministers of the MED9 group called for enhancement and promotion of crisis measures in the context of the Common Agricultural Policy, in a joint statement which was agreed after their meetings under the Cypriot Presidency of the group on March 25th and April 29th, and given the green light on Monday May 28th, on the sidelines of the Agriculture and Fisheries Council held in Brussels.

According to a press release, Croatia, Cyprus, France, Greece, Italy, Malta, Portugal, Slovenia, and Spain discussed the joint challenges and particularities of the Mediterranean region, in order to coordinate common positions. The next meeting of the MED9 ministers will take place in Cyprus on September 3rd.

The joint statement includes the following conclusions by the MED9 ministers:

- We encourage the Commission to proceed with further targeted adjustments of the CAP Strategic plans towards measures that accommodate efficient use of financial support to farmers and absorption of all available funds under the CAP. The specific difficulties encountered by small farmers should be recognized within this context, to avoid disproportionate burden.

- We recognize the need for additional actions to further reduce the administrative burden and improve the resilience of the agricultural sector. We emphasize that these actions should duly consider the specificities and challenges of Mediterranean agriculture including challenges due to extreme environmental conditions (e.g. heat, floods, diseases and pests, water scarcity and water resilience).

- On trade, priority should be given to the protection of sensitive EU products and Geographical Indications from future trade agreements.

- We highlight the need to further enhance and promote crisis measures and increase Member State flexibility to support sectors in need. Therefore, additional measures such as a mechanism of “ad hoc” support under the CAP Strategic Plans (CSP) using at least 2% of the existing national CSP envelope and increased flexibility on using the agricultural reserve should be within the available tools for crisis management. In addition, we welcome the adopted extension of the temporary framework on State aid as an additional tool for farmer’s support. We do also see the need to promote the use of “decommitments” capitalizing the cancellation of budgetary commitments that have not been followed by payments.

- We also encourage the Commission to proceed with the necessary measures in order to accommodate efficient adaptation of tools within and beyond the CAP and to ensure sustainability and resilience for the agricultural sector and food production systems in the European Union.

- We call for further discussions within the Council, to address farmers’ needs, improve the resilience and competitiveness of EU agriculture, and effectively contribute to EU environmental goals.

Cyprus  |  EU  |  politics

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