On 11 July, Minister of Rural Affairs of Estonia Tarmo Tamm introduced the agricultural priorities of the Estonian Presidency of the Council of the European Union to the Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development of the European Parliament and answered numerous questions. “Taking into account the prevalent instability of the markets for agricultural produce over the last few years and the need to be better prepared for future crises, we would like to pay more attention to the methods for risk management in the shaping of the future Common Agricultural Policy (CAP),” Minister Tarmo Tamm said.
Mr Tamm also introduced a high-level conference held during the Estonian Presidency. The aim of the conference will be to draw attention to the sustainable use of soils. He stressed that the basis for sustainable food production is a fertile and healthy soil.
Combating the globally increasing antimicrobial resistance is of great importance to Estonia and all activities that serve this purpose are welcomed. When moving to the next priority, Mr Tamm added that Estonia supports discussions on the implementation of modern digital solutions for more efficient means of supervision and thereby improving agricultural production. As the last priority, the Minister pointed out the need to raise general awareness in plant health in order to successfully apply new plant health regulations and provide crisis readiness.
Minister Tamm summarized his speech with Estonia’s most important priorities concerning the future CAP: reaching an agreement on the Omnibus proposal, implementation of measures for crisis management, and simplification of the CAP. “During our Presidency, we will try to be a worthy partner for the European Parliament, the Commission, and all other institutions. I hope that our cooperation during the second half of the year will be a fruitful one,” the Minister concluded with his speech.
The presentation together with the Q&A lasted for almost one and a half hours. The Members of the European Parliament expressed their concerns with the trade issues, the simplification of the CAP, and the animal disease and bird flu epidemics. All parties found that discussions on various topics could have lasted for hours on end.