European Commissioner Dacian Ciolos promises he will reflect on more adequate market instruments
He made the affirmation in a debate on the situation of the agricultural sector in Greece. The Greek Minister of Rural Development and Food, Aikaterini Batzeli, supported by counterparts from Bulgaria, Cyprus and Poland, drew attention to the difficulties faced by the agricultural sector in Greece, calling for immediate and long-term measures. Commissioner Dacian Ciolos replied that appropriate measures would be considered for both short and long term.
On the other hand, the European Commissioner for Agriculture expressed readiness to discuss a proposal of the French Minister of Agriculture, Bruno Le Maire, for the introduction and use of ‘ more flexible, more rapid and open to all sectors in agriculture’ market mechanisms. ‘The European Commission should be able to propose ad hoc measures in case of serious economic crisis,’ said French Minister Le Maire.
France on Monday proposed at the meeting of the Council of European Ministers of Agriculture, a series of measures to regulate agricultural markets, including recourse to a safeguard clause that would allow generalized exceptional measures in case of crisis. According to Bruno Le Maire, the European Union needs ‘ new regulatory mechanisms’ as a safeguard clause mechanism model used in Europe during the ‘ mad cow pandemic’, under which emergency measures to be approved in case of health crisis.
European ministers of agriculture have had an exchange of views on the future Common Agricultural Policy (CAP), especially on the market management measures to be taken after 2013. They hailed the document prepared for this purpose by the Spanish EU Presidency and emphasized the importance of finding a balance between market orientation on the one hand and ensuring viability of agricultural activity in the EU through appropriate measures and crisis management instruments, on the other hand.
Several participants at the AGRI Council meeting on Monday estimated that the market orientation of European agriculture as following the CAP reform launched in 1992 should be enough. Many delegations have put emphasis also on the contribution of the existing measures, such as direct payments and interventions, in limiting the risks related to prices and revenues for farmers.
Many of the ministers participating agreed that the future CAP should have a financial mechanism at its disposal, in case of crisis, to provide flexibility in rapid responses to such situations.