Sixty years ago today representatives of the six Member States that then made up European Economic Community adopted a decision establishing a "Special Committee" to prepare the Council's work to develop and implement a Common Agricultural Policy, as already provided for in the 1957 Treaty of Rome but not yet materialised.
Ever since the SCA has been delivering on its mandate by preparing the Council's achievements in the field of agriculture: initially by developing the first really common European policy, the CAP and, later, by reforming it frequently and radically in order to address the challenges and priorities of the day.
Marking this special occasion, the President of the Council (Agriculture and Fisheries), Croatian Minister of Agriculture Ms Marija Vučković, stated:
"Today we mark the 60th anniversary of the creation of the Special Committee on Agriculture. The ongoing COVID-19 crisis has made abundantly clear the importance of ensuring adequate food supplies for all Europeans, particularly in times of international crisis. The last thing that our citizens needed in these challenging times was food shortages. That this was avoided is thanks in no small part to the existence of a solid common policy which ensures food security in a non-trade distortive, environmentally‑friendly and sustainable manner at a fraction of the cost that other developed nations pay for this public good.
In the near future, European agriculture will be called upon to meet new challenges, including addressing the aftermath of the COVID-19 crisis, Brexit, the need to contribute to the "Green Deal" while maintaining the competitiveness of the European agricultural sector and continuing to play a central role in European integration as it has done for more than half a century.
The role of the SCA remains critical in assisting the Council in finalizing the CAP reform discussions in partnership with the European Parliament. After more than 60 years and 1600 meetings, it is worth looking back and celebrating these achievements as well as contemplating the challenges ahead.”