Estonia together with many European Union Member States supports the simplification of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP), so that it would become simpler and cheaper for the applicants and the administrators and clearer for the whole society.
Estonia joined also the corresponding declaration, which asks for a clearer action plan and schedule for the European Commission to develop concrete proposals. Many of the Member States joined the declaration.
The topics of the CAP simplification and the definition of less favoured areas were thoroughly discussed this morning at the meeting between the Minister of Agriculture of Estonia Helir-Valdor Seeder and the Minister of Agriculture of Holland Gerda Verburg.
According to Seeder, the definition criteria of less favoured areas has to be renewed as soon as possible and the support given to those areas has to be made more comparable between different European countries, which would ensure a more equal treatment for everyone. The need to highlight the overall essence of agricultural support was also emphasized at the meeting, because support is what offers the society public services in food security, as well as preserving valuable landscapes and the environment. Among other topics, the issue of tighter cooperation between Estonia and Holland in the framework of aid programmes given to Turkey and other countries in Eastern Europe and Middle Asia was under discussion.
In the Council of Agriculture and Fisheries Ministers, the European Commission gave an overview of the planned reform package of the Common Fisheries Policy. The goal of the reform is to review critically and, if necessary, change or amend the whole fisheries policy. The overview highlighted the progress made in the implementation of the Common Fisheries Policy, but also the critical developments. The main problems are still overfishing, excessive fishing capacities but also the economic and social problems in the fisheries sector. The goal is to implement a more effective and sustainable fisheries policy in 2012.
The topic of aquaculture, including the future of fish farming in Europe was discussed as the second point related to fisheries. When in other parts of the world, this sector has developed rapidly during the last years, then in Europe, it has suffered a setback. The issue of administrative obstacles related to the usage of lands suitable for aquaculture was brought out as the main challenges. The discussion of all the abovementioned topics will continue during the next ministerial councils.
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