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The EU cereals sector: Main features, challenges and prospects

05-09-2019

Food and agriculture systems are central to the well-being of humanity. When considering food security, these systems are needed not just to provide safe, healthy food but also livelihoods and incomes to a large number of farmers. These same systems are integral to rural and economic development. Core to the food security objective is the production of cereals across the globe to meet the increasing demands for food, animal feed and biofuels. In the EU, the cereals sector accounted for approximately ...

Food and agriculture systems are central to the well-being of humanity. When considering food security, these systems are needed not just to provide safe, healthy food but also livelihoods and incomes to a large number of farmers. These same systems are integral to rural and economic development. Core to the food security objective is the production of cereals across the globe to meet the increasing demands for food, animal feed and biofuels. In the EU, the cereals sector accounted for approximately 11 % of the total output value of agricultural production in 2016, third in line after the vegetable/horticultural and the dairy sectors. It is an important sector for many Member States, particularly the northern ones, where it is well developed. All Member States produce some combination of cereal crops. The EU cereals sector is facing challenges not only structurally but also financially and climatically. Developments in the policy framework as evidenced by the new common agricultural policy (CAP) proposals as well as advances in scientific and technological spheres, such as plant breeding and digitalisation, point the way to a more efficient sector. Yet, the sectoral challenges are many. The process of CAP reform for the post-2020 period promising a new delivery model and strategic plans is a departure from the known. World agricultural markets face new uncertainties that, on the supply side, include regulatory responses to new plant breeding techniques and responses to the increasing likelihood of extreme climatic events. The cereals sector is one operating in a farming environment trying to combat the loss of plant protection products previously relied upon, and in a world coming to terms with how to make the Paris Agreement a reality. These challenges will all influence the profitability and survivability of the sector.

CAP strategic planning: Operational perspectives

04-09-2019

For the first time in the history of the common agricultural policy (CAP), it is proposed that interventions available under the CAP's Pillar I (namely agricultural income and market support) and Pillar II (rural development) will be combined in one strategic plan for all CAP expenditure. This paper aims to provide a better understanding and insight into the European Commission's proposal for this new delivery model for the CAP after 2020. Under the Commission's proposal, greater flexibility would ...

For the first time in the history of the common agricultural policy (CAP), it is proposed that interventions available under the CAP's Pillar I (namely agricultural income and market support) and Pillar II (rural development) will be combined in one strategic plan for all CAP expenditure. This paper aims to provide a better understanding and insight into the European Commission's proposal for this new delivery model for the CAP after 2020. Under the Commission's proposal, greater flexibility would be given to Member States to decide on how best to meet general and specific objectives of the CAP. They would be responsible for drawing up a CAP strategic plan, in which they will set targets to be achieved over the subsequent programming period. Though the new delivery model would provide an opportunity for Member States to tailor the instruments and measures of the CAP to address their specific needs, the approach places significant onus on the strategic-planning capacities of Member State administrations. This paper examines a number of operational issues to help inform the ongoing legislative process.

What if we didn't need cows for our beef?

12-07-2019

With the help of cells from a single cow, scientists can produce 175 million hamburgers. What if we didn’t need cows for our beef? Technologies for producing cultured meat and dairy products will help feeding the world in a sustainable way. What if we could produce meat without farming? New technology within reach to produce meat with a very low eco-footprint

With the help of cells from a single cow, scientists can produce 175 million hamburgers. What if we didn’t need cows for our beef? Technologies for producing cultured meat and dairy products will help feeding the world in a sustainable way. What if we could produce meat without farming? New technology within reach to produce meat with a very low eco-footprint

EU food quality scheme

08-07-2019

The quality of European agricultural products often relies on their geographical origins, the traditional recipes used to make them, and the methods used in production and processing. These human and geographical factors are intrinsic to making a product unique. In 1992, the EU developed a quality scheme for foodstuffs, including the designation of their origin. The objectives of the EU quality scheme are to provide consumers with clear information, allowing them to make a more informed choice, and ...

The quality of European agricultural products often relies on their geographical origins, the traditional recipes used to make them, and the methods used in production and processing. These human and geographical factors are intrinsic to making a product unique. In 1992, the EU developed a quality scheme for foodstuffs, including the designation of their origin. The objectives of the EU quality scheme are to provide consumers with clear information, allowing them to make a more informed choice, and to indicate the added value of a given product. The protection of European local and gastronomic traditions, especially against imitation in third countries, is another important aim of the regulations. Consequently, the EU's engagement in protecting its registered products on the global market is a contentious issue in the negotiation of many trade agreements.

EU policies – Delivering for citizens: Agriculture

28-06-2019

The common agricultural policy (CAP) is one of the oldest common policies in the EU. Its significance is reflected in the proportion of the EU's budget devoted to it, representing approximately 40 % of the total. Developed at a time when Europe was unable to meet most of its own food needs, it was necessary to encourage farmers to produce food by means of guaranteed prices. The policy has undergone regular reform and has evolved over the years. These reforms have sought to improve the competitiveness ...

The common agricultural policy (CAP) is one of the oldest common policies in the EU. Its significance is reflected in the proportion of the EU's budget devoted to it, representing approximately 40 % of the total. Developed at a time when Europe was unable to meet most of its own food needs, it was necessary to encourage farmers to produce food by means of guaranteed prices. The policy has undergone regular reform and has evolved over the years. These reforms have sought to improve the competitiveness of the agricultural sector, promote rural development and address new challenges in areas such as the environment and climate change. Evidence from a series of Eurobarometer surveys indicates that EU citizens have a high level of awareness of this policy area. There is a recognition that the policy is succeeding in meeting citizens' expectations in terms of delivering healthy high-quality food as well as contributing to the protection of the environment. When it comes to agriculture, Parliament's eighth term focused on taking forward not only implementation of the last CAP reform in 2013 but also a series of significant legislative achievements. The areas covered include, for example, unfair trading practices, animal health, plant health and the organic sector, as well as a range of policy-related simplification measures. On the non-legislative front, Parliament pursued its scrutiny role rigorously. Other substantial issues it considered during the last legislature included the future policy direction of the CAP for the post-2020 period, establishing its position on the next multiannual financial framework (MFF), including the overall budgetary allocation for the future CAP and the associated legislative framework. In the case of the latter, this has not been the subject of a plenary vote. This is an update of an earlier briefing issued in advance of the 2019 European elections.

What if policy anticipated advances in science and technology?

26-06-2019

What if blockchain revolutionised voting? What if your emotions were tracked to spy on you? And what if we genetically engineered an entire species? Science and policy are intricately connected. Via monthly 'What if' publications, the Scientific Foresight Unit (STOA; part of the European Parliamentary Research Service) draws Members of the European Parliament's attention to new scientific and technological developments relevant for policy-making. The unit also provides administrative support to the ...

What if blockchain revolutionised voting? What if your emotions were tracked to spy on you? And what if we genetically engineered an entire species? Science and policy are intricately connected. Via monthly 'What if' publications, the Scientific Foresight Unit (STOA; part of the European Parliamentary Research Service) draws Members of the European Parliament's attention to new scientific and technological developments relevant for policy-making. The unit also provides administrative support to the Panel for the Future of Science and Technology (STOA), which brings together 25 Members from nine different parliamentary committees who share a strong interest in science and technology in the context of policy-making.

EU fertilising products

26-06-2019

Fertilising products are used to improve plant growth, mainly in agriculture, enabling higher crop yields. However, they are associated with some challenges as regards security of supply, the environment and health. Although the 2003 Fertilisers Regulation, which aimed at ensuring an internal market in fertilisers, has been effective, it mainly addresses mineral fertilisers and deters the introduction of new types of fertilisers. In March 2016, the Commission put forward a legislative proposal on ...

Fertilising products are used to improve plant growth, mainly in agriculture, enabling higher crop yields. However, they are associated with some challenges as regards security of supply, the environment and health. Although the 2003 Fertilisers Regulation, which aimed at ensuring an internal market in fertilisers, has been effective, it mainly addresses mineral fertilisers and deters the introduction of new types of fertilisers. In March 2016, the Commission put forward a legislative proposal on fertilising products, as announced in the circular economy action plan. The proposal modernises the conformity assessment and market surveillance in line with the ‘new legislative framework’ for product legislation, covers a wider range of fertilising products (including those manufactured from secondary raw materials), and sets limits for the presence of heavy metals and contaminants in fertilising products. After completion of the legislative procedure, the final act was signed on 5 June 2019. The regulation will apply in full from 16 July 2022. Fifth edition of a briefing originally drafted by Didier Bourguignon. The ‘EU Legislation in Progress’ briefings are updated at key stages throughout the legislative procedure. Please note this document has been designed for on-line viewing.

CAP horizontal regulation: Financing, management and monitoring of the common agricultural policy for 2021-2027

25-06-2019

As part of the preparation of the EU budget for 2021-2027, the European Commission put forward a new set of regulations to shape the future EU Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) on 1 June 2018. The proposal for a regulation on the financing, management and monitoring of the CAP provides the legislative framework for adapting the financing, management and monitoring rules to a new CAP delivery model. This seeks to achieve more subsidiarity and simplification, with greater responsibility given to Member ...

As part of the preparation of the EU budget for 2021-2027, the European Commission put forward a new set of regulations to shape the future EU Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) on 1 June 2018. The proposal for a regulation on the financing, management and monitoring of the CAP provides the legislative framework for adapting the financing, management and monitoring rules to a new CAP delivery model. This seeks to achieve more subsidiarity and simplification, with greater responsibility given to Member States, a shift from ensuring single transaction compliance to monitoring system performance in each Member State, and reduced 'red tape', among other things. Second edition. The 'EU Legislation in Progress' briefings are updated at key stages throughout the legislative procedure.

Spirit drinks: Definition, labelling and geographical indications

28-05-2019

In December 2016, the European Commission proposed to replace Regulation (EC) No 110/2008 – the Spirit Drinks Regulation – with a new one, with the aim of aligning it with the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU). The proposal mainly involves grouping the provisions adopted by the Commission into delegated and implementing acts. In addition, it replaces the existing procedures for the protection of geographical indications (GIs) of spirit drinks with new ones, modelled on the recently ...

In December 2016, the European Commission proposed to replace Regulation (EC) No 110/2008 – the Spirit Drinks Regulation – with a new one, with the aim of aligning it with the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU). The proposal mainly involves grouping the provisions adopted by the Commission into delegated and implementing acts. In addition, it replaces the existing procedures for the protection of geographical indications (GIs) of spirit drinks with new ones, modelled on the recently updated procedures for quality schemes applied to agricultural products and foodstuffs. According to spirits industry representatives, the proposal contained some substantive changes that needed to be studied in detail to determine their impact. The Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety (ENVI) was responsible for the file in the European Parliament. A provisional agreement was reached at the third trilogue meeting, on 27 November 2018. The agreement was confirmed by the Special Committee on Agriculture in December 2018 and approved in the ENVI committee on 22 January 2019. A plenary vote in the EP was held on 13 March 2019. The act was signed on 17 April and the regulation published in the Official Journal on 17 May 2019. Third edition. The ‘EU Legislation in Progress’ briefings are updated at key stages throughout the legislative procedure. Please note this document has been designed for on-line viewing.

Unfair trading practices in the food supply chain

06-05-2019

The food supply chain ensures that food and drink products are delivered to the public. It affects all consumers in the EU. The final price paid by the consumer is impacted by the number of participants in the food supply chain. While the single market has brought benefits to operators in the supply chain through more market opportunities and a larger customer base, it has also brought challenges. Structural changes have occurred, leading to different levels of bargaining power and imbalances between ...

The food supply chain ensures that food and drink products are delivered to the public. It affects all consumers in the EU. The final price paid by the consumer is impacted by the number of participants in the food supply chain. While the single market has brought benefits to operators in the supply chain through more market opportunities and a larger customer base, it has also brought challenges. Structural changes have occurred, leading to different levels of bargaining power and imbalances between actors in the chain. The abuse of such differences may lead to unfair trading practices. To strengthen the position of smaller operators (farmers) in the food supply chain, in April 2018 the European Commission proposed a new directive on unfair trading practices. Trilogue discussions began in October 2018 after a successful vote in plenary. The final agreed text was adopted by both Parliament and Council at first reading, and signed on 17 April. Member States must now incorporate its provisions into national law, and apply them by 1 November 2021.

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