‘At this stage, I am not concerned about what elements the reform will comprise, but to what questions the reform should answer, and that is why my intention is to call a public debate on this theme. Yet, it is clear that it will have to meet the new challenges, which will be identified in the 2020 Strategy, which will target global economic competitiveness and, thus, agriculture as well as, along with the issues of economic recovery and green growth, a concept that entails sustainable growth that will also secure rational management of the EU natural resources.
Agriculture will have an important part to play. We will also have to seek to adjust ways and mechanisms so that the opening-up of the European market to the world markets and this liberalisation of trade will not irremediably affect, in a time of crisis, the revenues of European farmers,’ said Ciolos. Another aspect the European official said will be found in the future CAP regard the relationship between agriculture and climate change.
‘On the one hand, agriculture will have to adapt itself to the climate change, and that requires investment in farm holdings, and training programmes for framers, while on the other hand agriculture can contribute to reducing the effects of the climate change, and we will have to boost such measures with the aid of the Common Agricultural Policy mechanisms,’ Ciolos explained.
Asked about his cooperation with the European Parliament in general and the Agricultural Committee of the Parliament in special, Ciolos said it will be closely both at a political and at an administrative level, in line with the provisions in the Lisbon Treaty and the principles established by Parliament and the European Commission under the framework agreement on cooperation between the two institutions.
He added that he will be fully open, explaining that beyond the part played by the European Parliament in the CAP, as provided for under the Lisbon Treaty, Parliament’s engagement in the CAP decision-making process is fully justified politically because Parliament is the democratic institution that has the largest European representation and CAP is one of the main EU policies.
‘First of all, the principles for cooperation between Parliament and the Commission are established under a framework agreement negotiated by the two parties that provides for principles, based on the Lisbon Treaty. The European Parliament, at least as far as the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) is concerned, is involved in the co-decision process, alongside the European Council.
This means there will be permanent consultations between the Commission and Parliament while the normative acts regarding CAP are prepared, because the Commission is charged with preparing suggestions for normative acts; as long as Parliament is directly involved in this decisional process, the exchanges of opinions are natural,’ said Ciolos.
Ciolos is expected in the period immediately ahead to hold bilateral talks with the representatives of each political group on the European Parliament’s Agricultural Committee to introduce his proposals and objectives in his area of expertise.