The Portuguese Presidency of the Council of the EU is optimistic about the chances of reaching an agreement on the new Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) in May. “We leave the meeting with the conviction that we are on the right way towards an agreement between the three institutions during the coming month”, the Portuguese Minister of Agriculture, Maria do Céu Antunes, stated after the meeting of the Council of Agriculture Ministers of the 27, which she chaired.
“We now have shared ideas on green architecture, an excellent indicator of the Council’s commitment to bringing this reform to a close, a commitment that we have assumed with European farmers and citizens”, added the Minister, who presented a proposal regarding the regulation on the strategic plans for green architecture, in particular on the percentage of the financial allocation for eco-scheme direct payments.
At a press conference in Brussels, Maria do Céu Antunes gave details of the proposal, which she described as “well balanced” and “well received”, referring to the setting of the minimum eco-scheme allocation. The Council proposed 20%, but the Parliament wanted 30%. For this reason, a progressive approach was suggested, with a rise from 22% in 2023 to 25% two years later, and provision for a flexible framework and a learning period.
The Minister of Agriculture gave her assurance that the Portuguese Presidency of the Council of the EU will take into account the viewpoints discussed at this ministerial meeting in connection with the CAP reform and will take them to the coming trilogue, to be held on 30 April.
For his part, the European Commissioner for Agriculture, Janusz Wojciechowski, repeated that “the settlement is within the reach of all”, indicating that “no Member State disagreed with the proposal” of the Portuguese Presidency. “I’m convinced that we are in the closing stages”, he concluded.