The Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food Acting, Luis Planas, has chaired the Agricultural Policy Advisory Council, which has analyzed, together with the advisers of the autonomous communities, the issues to be discussed in the Council of Ministers of Agriculture of the European Union next July 15.

Among other issues, the future of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP), the EU-Mercosur agreement, the situation of markets, such as olive oil, and African swine fever stand out.

With regard to the CAP, the Council of Ministers will again address the environmental aspects of the Reform proposal. In this regard, the minister recalled the support of Spain for the CAP to raise its climate and environmental ambitions, maintaining the viability of agricultural activity, through simple measures to apply.

Planas will inform the Council of Ministers of the European Union (EU) of the worrying situation in which important areas of the country are located due to the drought. The herbaceous crops of secans and pastures for extensive cattle ranching are, to date, the most affected sectors. The minister stressed that a package with the first answers has already been formed to help the producers. In this regard, he stressed that he will adopt as many measures as necessary depending on how the situation evolves.

The Minister will return to expose the situation of the olive oil market in the Council of Ministers.

The Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (MAPA) has analyzed with the sector the possibilities of self-regulation offered by the Common Organization of Agricultural Products Markets. The agri-food cooperatives have consulted the European Commission (EC) to allow the temporary storage of oil in their facilities and on a voluntary basis.

In order to act quickly, representatives of the Ministry and the EC will maintain contacts this week to speed up a response.

EU-Mercosur Agreement

Regarding the EU-Mercosur agreement, the minister has indicated that it is a modern, balanced and ambitious pact, which will generate opportunities for both parties, including Spanish farmers and ranchers.

It supposes a new impulse for the Spanish exports, with the opening of important markets that, until now, counted on tariffs very high in products agroalimentarios.

The elimination of most of the tariffs for European exports destined for the South American block will mean a saving of 4,000 million euros per year for all economic sectors, of which 400 million euros correspond to Spain.

In addition, the Council of Ministers will analyze the conclusions of the high level sugar group that has met three times during this year. Spain has insisted that the socio-economic importance of the crop be recognized, since if it disappears from an area, even if the affected farmer can find other alternatives, the rural fabric is seriously damaged with the disappearance of the industry.

With regard to African swine fever, in recent months there has been limited progress in European territory, thanks to the measures articulated between the European Commission and the Member States. However, the Minister has stressed that this disease is of concern to this Government, since the risk is still present and it is necessary to continue maintaining the maximum alert. Together with the Commission, all measures will be taken to "contain, stop and eradicate" the disease.

On July 1, Finland took over from the rotating Presidency of the Council that, until last semester, held Romania, so that in the Council of Ministers will present its program of priorities for the second semester of 2019. Among its priorities are finalize the negotiations of the next Multiannual Financial Framework next autumn and, if this is the case, reach a possible general agreement on the CAP Reform by the end of the year.

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