Council considers that first orientation about the future of CAP is a good basis

Agriculture and Fisheries ministers meeting in Brussels on 29 November held an initial exchange of views on Commission's communication on the future of CAP after 2013. In the agenda, ministers also addressed, among other issues, fishing opportunities for certain deep-sea stocks for 2011 and 2012 as well as the possibility to enable EFSA to receive fees, and were also debriefed on the Farm advisory system.

Further to the initial exchange of views about Commission's communication on the future of  CAP after 2013 presented on 18 November, most of the Member States noted that this first orientation constitutes a good basis for preparing the discussion on the legislative package, which is expected to be put forward in July 2011.

Discussions over different aspects of CAP reform have been on focus within the Council during four successive Presidencies. Meanwhile, the European Parliament adopted an own initiative report on the post-2013 CAP, and its link with the Europe 2020 Strategy.

Over the past few months a majority of views concurred that the future CAP should remain a strong common policy structured around its two pillars, an approach which was also part of the summary made at a large conference on future of CAP held in July 2010, about the results of Commission's consultation about it. Discussions had also shown that the reform should include in particular a better balance between income support and the rewarding of public goods provision, and should take better into account the diversity of European agricultures.

Advisability and feasibility of a legislative proposal enabling EFSA to receive fees

The Council also held an exchange of views on a Commission report on the advisability and feasibility of presenting a legislative proposal enabling the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) to receive fees. Given the increase of work registered by EFSA, some delegations envisaged such possibility, allowing the Agency to receive fees if the graduation does not put at a disadvantage small and medium sized enterprises applying for authorisations.

One of the options explored in a report presented by the European Commission considers the introduction of graduated fees for applicants from the sectors where the authorisation is issued to a specific holder and is not generic such as genetically modified organisms (cultivation) and genetically modified food and feed, feed additives, claims, novel food or plant protection products. In this context, the issue of enhanced services for applicants would also have to be explored.

The impact assessment launched by the Commission will take into account the results of the Member States', stakeholders' and EFSA's comments and the observations and remarks highlighted in the report. The assessment will also look at other EU policy areas as well as practices of other EU regulatory agencies.