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Agriculture and Fisheries


Josef Pröll
Federal Minister of Agriculture, Forestry, Environment and Water Management
  

The Agriculture and Fisheries Council will be chaired by Federal Minister Josef Pröll during the Austrian Presidency of the Council of the EU.

The Ministers for Agriculture and Fisheries of the EU Member States and the Commissioners responsible for agriculture, fisheries, health and consumer protection meet each month to further develop the EU agriculture and fisheries policy and the EU rural development policy. Together with the General Affairs and the Economic and Financial Affairs Councils, the Agriculture and Fisheries Council is one of the Council’s oldest configurations.

Since 1960, agriculture policy has been determined mainly by the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP). The aim of the CAP is to ensure an appropriate standard of living for farmers and to provide consumers with high-quality food at affordable prices. The way in which these aims are achieved has changed over the years and, since the early 1990s, the CAP has undergone a continual process of reform. The reforms focused on improving the competitiveness of agriculture by lowering the support prices and introducing direct payments to farmers to compensate. The CAP reform of 2003 was a decisive step which decoupled direct payments from production and adjusted the CAP to better reflect consumer concerns. This reform was an important step towards a more market-oriented and more sustainable CAP. Food safety and securing the future of rural areas have become a key priority.

The European Union’s Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) seeks to ensure the sustainable use of living aquatic resources and sustainable aquaculture by balancing ecological, economic and social considerations.

 

Programme for the Austrian Presidency

The overarching theme for the agricultural sector during the Austrian Presidency is consolidation of the CAP reform. Security and reliability for the farming community are key issues in this context.

The informal meeting of Ministers for Agriculture in Krems from 28 to 30 May 2006 will focus on the human factor in the rural economy, with the emphasis on how education, advisory services and research & development can make the rural economy more competitive.

 

More information on the priorities of the Presidency programme which are addressed in the Agriculture and Fisheries Council:

 

Date: 31.03.2006