A number of EU member states are calling for derogations under the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP), similar to those introduced this year, to be available in 2023.
The derogations this year, which included an exemption from certain greening requirements, were put in place by the European Commission in March in response to food security concerns spurred by the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
The possibility of these types derogations continuing into the new CAP cycle was raised at a meeting of EU agriculture ministers this week.
Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Charlie McConalogue attended the Council of EU agriculture ministers meeting.
However, it appears that the discussion around possible CAP derogations did not take place in one of the council’s public sessions. 16 member states backed an extension to the principle of derogations, though it was not confirmed which countries were among this number.
The meeting was also attended by European Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development Janusz Wojciechowski, who, while not giving any commitment to make derogations available next year, did indicate that he would “rapidly come back to the council on this matter”.
Among the other issues discussed was Ukraine, with ministers stressing the need to get store grain out of the country before the next harvest in order to ease international markets.
The council meeting highlighted the importance of effective coordination measures at international level to ensure a global response to food security.
There was also an exchange of views the commission’s recently adopted report on the application of EU health and environmental standards to imported agricultural and agri-food products.
This followed on from an earlier debate on lining up EU trade policy with the European Green Deal and the CAP, and making sure the three are consistent.
Many ministers welcomed the commission’s report, and noted that animal welfare was particularly important when it comes to bilateral trade standards between the EU and its trading partners.