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Agriculture and Fisheries Council

Volume 454: debated on Thursday 14 December 2006

I will be representing the United Kingdom at this month’s Agriculture and Fisheries Council in Brussels. The Scottish Environment and Rural Affairs Minister, Ross Finnie, will also attend.

The presidency will seek political agreements on the total allowable catches (TACS) and quotas and related measures fixing fishing opportunities for certain fish stocks for 2007 and on a management plan for plaice and sole in the North Sea.

The Council will adopt the fisheries partnership agreement between the European Community, the Government of Denmark and the Home Rule Government of Greenland.

The presidency will seek a “general approach” from Council on a proposal to simplify and improve the current regulation on organic farming, (“general approach” being the term for an agreement reached before the European Parliament has issued its opinion).

The presidency will give a report on Community Animal Health Policy for 2007-13.

Under any other business, the Agriculture Commissioner will give a presentation on the common organisation of agricultural markets and agricultural products.

The Health and Consumer Protection Commissioner will give a progress report on the Commission’s proposal on marketing of plant protection products and on the EC -Russian Federation veterinary and phytosanitary agreement negotiations. He will also provide an update on the developments on avian influenza H5N1.

The presidency will also update the Council on the progress of the Commission’s Communication on a thematic strategy and accompanying proposal on the sustainable use of pesticides.

Over lunch, the Austrian and Finnish Ministers will share experiences gained from managing their joint presidency programmes over the past year.