CAP reform: Luxembourg talks positive but further negotiations needed, De Castro says
Negotiations on the future shape of EU farm policy are on the right track but the Irish presidency must get EU agriculture ministers to be more flexible before further progress can be made in Brussels on Wednesday, EP head negotiator Paolo De Castro (S&D, IT) said on Tuesday early morning, after hours of intensive talks between the Parliament, Council and Commission in Luxembourg.
"Negotiations on the EU’s future farm policy are heading in the right direction but further effort on all sides is required to reach the agreement", Mr. De Castro said after the negotiations on Tuesday morning.
"During weeks of rather intensive and lengthy talks Parliament's negotiators have shown a great degree of flexibility while insisting on improving the future common agricultural policy. We have proved that we want to reach a deal in a timely manner. But we also said that we are not prepared to accept what we believe is not in the best interest of our farmers and citizens just for the sake of speedy conclusions. Quality must come first", Mr. De Castro stressed.
“Now the ball is in Council's court. It is the responsibility of the Irish presidency to get agriculture ministers on board to accept Parliament's priorities so that the negotiations could be, at least partially, concluded this week. If the presidency fails now, the negotiations will have to continue at a later stage with Lithuanians at the helm of the Council", Mr. De Castro said.
Parliament's negotiating team will now await results of the debate in the Council on the revision of its negotiating mandate. MEPs will then meet the Irish presidency and the Commission on Wednesday during what could potentially be the final ‘trilogue’ talks on the future EU farm policy.
If a tentative political agreement is reached during the trilateral talks on Wednesday morning, the EP political groups in the Agriculture committee will assess it immediately. The results of this assessment will be communicated on Wednesday afternoon in Brussels during the extraordinary meeting of the Agriculture Committee.