Agriculture and Fisheries Council, 09/10/2017

Council of the EU

Main results

Fisheries

The Council reached a political agreement on fishing opportunities in the Baltic Sea for 2018.

After a day-long negotiation, ministers agreed on the maximum quantity of fish that EU fishermen will be allowed to catch next year out of the ten main commercial stocks in the Baltic Sea, a quantity also referred to as the "Total Allowable Catch" (TAC).

"Setting fishing opportunities is a squaring the circle exercise. We have done it in full respect of the Common fisheries policy objectives, the Baltic plan provisions and scientific advice. In the final agreement economic and environmental sustainability go hand in hand."

Siim Kiisler,  minister of environment of the Republic of Estonia and president of the Council

Ministers also exchanged views on the position to be taken by the EU at the annual consultations between the EU and Norway in the framework of their bilateral fisheries agreement, and at the annual meeting of the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT), scheduled for 14-21 November 2017 in Morocco.

Agriculture

The Commission informed the Council about the latest developments in the most important agricultural markets. Ministers largely agreed with the Commission's assessment that markets were in the process of recovering, but also restated the need to keep a close eye on future developments linked to, among others, the end of EU sugar quotas, challenging climatic conditions in several member states, and African swine fever. During this debate ministers also had an opportunity to be informed about the free trade agreement with Mercosur.

The Council then held an exchange of views on the role of agriculture in implementing the 2030 agenda for sustainable development and the implications the latter can have for EU agriculture, especially looking ahead to the future Common Agricultural Policy.
In the subsequent debate ministers generally agreed that agriculture is central to achieving a number of sustainable development goals and that its policy instruments will have to be further improved in future both to deliver on this and face the new challenges linked to food security and climate change.

"Agriculture has a significant contribution to make in generating sustainable and inclusive growth, by creating jobs in the agri-food sector and ensuring the sustainable management of natural resources."

Tarmo Tamm, minister of rural affairs of the Republic of Estonia and president of the Council

Other topics on the agenda

Ministers were informed about a number of other issues, including the follow-up to the fipronil egg incident, the financing of the EU minor use coordination facility, the anti-subsidy and anti-dumping proceeding opened by the US against Spanish black table olives, sustainable and deforestation-free supply chains, and the state of implementation of the European maritime and fisheries fund.

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