One of the tasks of the EU Council Presidency is to strengthen confident cooperation between the member states. This is also the purpose of the informal meetings. These meetings traditionally take place in the EU member country holding the Presidency of the Council.
The informal meetings provide the agriculture ministers, the Chair of the Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development of the European Parliament and the EU Agriculture Commissioner the opportunity to discuss basic policy issues in greater detail, and away from everyday business.
During the informal meeting in Koblenz, Germany’s Federal Minister of Food, Agriculture and Consumer Protection Julia Klöckner will focus on the following topical issues:
- What are the lessons learned from the coronavirus crisis in terms of agricultural and food policy?
- What can policymakers do to secure and increase the resilience of the agricultural and food sectors?
- What role is played by how agriculture, food and animals are valued, by increased interest in the regional provenance and origins of food as well as efforts in climate stewardship, environmental protection and animal welfare? The focus will also be on questions around an EU-wide animal welfare label and animal welfare during transportation.
The informal character of the meeting offers an opportunity to deviate from the formal format of official Council meetings in Brussels or Luxemburg, and to invite additional speakers. For example, Federal Minister Klöckner considers it especially important to offer a local farmer from the Rhine-Hesse area the opportunity to speak during the meeting, to report on their own experiences with regard to the main topics.
A livestream of EU ministers’ arrivals and initial statements can be found on the homepage of eu2020.de beginning at 8.00. German Agriculture Minister Julia Klöckner’s opening statement will also be carried live beginning at 9.00, followed by a livestream beginning at 13.00 of Minister Klöckner’s joint press conference with Janusz Wojciechowski, European Commissioner for Agriculture.