Negotiations on the future of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) after 2020

The objectives of the CAP include:

  • supplying the population with high-quality food at affordable prices
  • stabilising the income of farmers
  • and boosting competitive strength

Promoting the sustainable development of rural areas was later added as an additional vital aspect of European agricultural policy.

One of the important goals of the CAP reform is to have an even stronger focus on environmental protection and climate change mitigation. At the same time, it is planned to simplify the CAP for farmers and administrations, to make it more flexible and to tailor it more closely to the needs of EU members.

To this end, the European Commission has submitted a number of proposals. These so-called legislative proposals are currently under discussion in the Council and in the European Parliament. In this matter, the German Council Presidency is striving to attain political consensus among the member states - known as the General Approach of the Council. This will then provide the basis for the next step, namely discussions on the proposals in the informal trialogues, in which the Council, the Parliament and the Commission try to come to an agreement on the legislative proposals.

The Farm to Fork Strategy and the European Commission’s 2030 Biodiversity Strategy

The Farm to Fork Strategy (“from stable to table”) and the EU Biodiversity Strategy, which were recently presented by the European Commission, are also closely linked with the CAP. Their objective is to create a reliable, sustainable and resilient food system that also takes into account interdependencies between the health of the population and environmental limits.

The EU agriculture ministers will thoroughly examine these strategies during the German EU Council Presidency. It is the German Presidency’s goal for the Council to come to an agreement on the implementation of the Farm to Fork Strategy. It is intended that these conclusions should then also be taken into account in preparing Council conclusions on the Biodiversity Strategy.

Animal welfare and food labelling issues

The German Council Presidency is seeking to advance animal welfare and food labelling issues. The aim is to assess and harmonise at EU level the possibility of introducing an EU-wide animal welfare label and an EU-wide uniform, extended nutritional labelling system.

Sustainable fisheries

In the second half of the year, fisheries issues are also traditionally on the agenda at Council meetings. This includes setting the fishing quotas for the following year. The quotas for various marine regions are negotiated and agreed on in October, November and December on the basis of scientific recommendations. In addition to that, the proposal for the post-2020 European Maritime and Fisheries Fund, which sets the framework for promoting sustainable fisheries and aquaculture in the EU, is to be finalised and the autonomous tariff quotas for fisheries imports are to be set.