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Agriculture and Fisheries Council

Volume 460: debated on Wednesday 9 May 2007

I will be representing the United Kingdom at this month's Agriculture and Fisheries Council in Brussels.

The Presidency will seek political agreements on measures to ensure the recovery of the European eel stock to previous historic levels and on a recovery plan for bluefin tuna in the eastern Atlantic and the Mediterranean.

There will be a policy debate based on a Presidency questionnaire on the Commission's report on cross-compliance. The report forms the first stage of the Commission's review of cross compliance due for completion by the end of 2007, and deals with administrative issues such as inspection and enforcement arrangements.

The Agriculture Commissioner will then update Council on the negotiations of the two proposals on the common organisation of the market in cereals, in response to a large increase in intervention purchasing of maize: one proposal will deliver extra financial support to compensate for high interest charges; the other will seek to overcome the problem by allowing the market to operate freely and abolish the intervention for maize.

The Agriculture Commissioner will also present proposals to revise the sugar restructuring scheme. Following the Presentation Ministers will hold an exchange of views on proposals.

The Presidency will seek political agreement on a proposal laying down minimum rules for the protection of chickens kept for meat production.

The Council will hold a policy debate and adopt Conclusions on the outcome of a recent conference on “Animal welfare - Improving by labelling”.

The Council will adopt Conclusions on the better regulation in the plant varieties and seeds sectors.

A number of issues, as follows, will be raised under any other business:

There will be updates from the Health and Consumer Protection Commissioner on Avian Influenza and the EC-Russian Federation veterinary and phytosanitary agreement negotiations.

The Agriculture Commissioner will give an update on the WTO agricultural negotiations.