Agricultural trade in the negotiations between the EU and global partners – the leitmotiv of the EU Council of the Ministers for Agriculture – 6 November this year

Tuesday, 7 November 2017 r.

During the EU Council of the Ministers for Agriculture, the Commission presented information on the status of the negotiations with key trade partners.

Photo. From the left – Counsellor General in the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development Zofia Krzyżanowska and Undersecretary of State Ewa Lech

Photo. From the left – Counsellor General in the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development Zofia Krzyżanowska and Undersecretary of State Ewa Lech

The Group of 10 Member States, including Poland, repeatedly expressed its concerns on the course of negotiations with Mercosur in a joint document; the issue of concern is to secure the interests of the EU producers from so called sensitive sectors (beef, pig meat, poultry, wine and ethanol) and at the same time to promote the offensive interests.

In addition, with regard to the Eleventh Ministerial Conference (MC11) in Buenos Aires (10-14 December this year) these states have appealed to the Commission for protecting the interests of the EU agricultural producers, including for protecting the existing common agricultural policy, in particular in the area of state aid (all instruments, so called blue box). These arrangements cannot anticipate the commencing discussion on the future CAP after 2020 – emphasizes the joint document.

Vice-Minister Ewa Lech representing Poland during the meeting pointed out at the sensitive dairy sector in the negotiations with New Zealand. In the opinion of Poland however it is the Mercosur agreement that poses the greatest threats to the stability of the agricultural market in the EU, in particular in the area of the tariff concessions for the sensitive agricultural products offered by the EU. Referring to the negotiations under the WTO – Poland believes that the applied Blue Box and Green Box support should not be negotiated.

The European Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development, Phil Hogan, confirmed that by the end of 2017 the European Union wishes to finalize the trade negotiations with Mercosur. He assured that the EU adopted the balanced positions in these negotiations (for pig meat and ethanol) and that it protects the geographical indications of origin of the EU products.

He assured also that the EU worked out a well-developed position for the WTO Ministerial Commission. It refers to protection of the EU agricultural producer interests and common agricultural policy. The Commissioner emphasized also that the offensive interests and protective clauses are one of the EU’s priorities. He reminded about the completed negotiations with Japan, Vietnam and Singapore and the benefits drawn from opening of their markets for the EU agricultural producers.

Apart from the trade negotiations, the ministers have also discussed the methods of preventing soil degradation in the EU and sustainable use of pesticides under the implementation of Directive 2009/128 EC.