Romania asked the European Commission to examine the production potential of small farms within the European Union (EU), on the background of a growing demand for food products, Agriculture Minister Dacian Ciolos told ROMPRES
'We think the small farms have an important role in terms of production, given that we are confronted with a growing demand for food products on the international market. Following such an analysis of the production potential of small farms, some mechanisms are to be adopted within the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP), so that these farms' output can be taken into consideration, as well', said Ciolos.
He stressed that 10 states support Romania's stance, among which France, Poland, Portugal, Cyprus, Greece, Malta, at the Agriculture and Fisheries Council, organized over May 19-20, in Brussels.
Discussions within the Council were also aimed at a new regulation of using pesticides, a decision going to be taken in the second half of the year by the French EU Presidency.
'EC failed to agree upon a compromise text on the pesticides regulation because it would not solve the issue of products now on the market. With this new regulation a big part of the products on the market, from the phyto-sanitary sector, should be eliminated and the introduction of some other new products supposes higher production costs.
As well, the homologation system of these products was debated in the sense that, once homologated in a state, the product becomes homologated in all EU countries, and even though Europe was regionalized for certain product categories, some countries say that, if there are three regions in Europe, homologation, too, should be limited to these regions', explained the Agriculture Minister.
Other debates within the Council were focused on negotiations with the World Trade Organization (WTO), where Romania, together with other member states, expressed concern in connection with certain concessions which might be accepted at the expense of agriculture.
'There is the risk to make some concessions in connection with the border protection as regards the vegetables and fruits from import, as well as on the domestic aid side, namely as regards the direct payments per hectare. These should be considered as financial aid mechanisms, which do not have a direct effect upon the market', Ciolos also said.
Discussions were also aimed at the growing prices for food products, the member states presenting various points of view related to the keeping and adaptation of CAP to the increased demand for food on the market, but these talks are to continue next week at the Informal Council in Slovenia.