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Minister Podgoršek presented the priorities of the Slovenian Presidency to the European Parliament

In the meetings of the Committees of the European Parliament, competent for purports within the scope of work of the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Food, the Minister Jože Podgoršek presented the sectoral programme and the priority tasks of the Slovenian Presidency. These fall within the scope of “Resilience, recovery and strategic autonomy of the EU”, focusing on strategic significance of food security within the EU and sustainable agriculture (care for rural areas) and forestry. In fisheries, priority tasks arise from the significance of conservation of coastal communities and of tradition of sustainable fishing.

The Minister valued the EU Council Presidency as the exceptional opportunity for Slovenia to actively participate in fostering the EU resilience against crises in primary areas. “In heading the EU Council, I am aware of great responsibility to all the EU citizens, as the contemporary and safe European Union is unfathomable to me without resilient agriculture, safe and quality food and sufficient food security, along with the appropriate environmental protection and care for rural areas”.

Committee on Fisheries (Monday, 12.7.)

At the Committee on Fisheries, the Minister Jože Podgoršek pointed out that he was well aware of the extreme importance of the fisheries sector within the EU. “Slovenia shares the fishing areas in the Northern Adriatic with the neighbouring countries. This is a sensitive ecosystem, and for this reason, together with the EU partners, we are commonly endeavouring for its protection, sustainable management, and creation of conditions for sustainable development of the fisheries sector. These very circumstances are reinforcing our awareness of certain key challenges within the Union. The principal substantive task will be to maintain sustainable fishing, focusing on small-scale costal fishing and maintaining the tradition of fisheries in coastal communities”. The first substantive dossier of the Slovenian Presidency is going to be the revision of Regulation establishing a control system applicable to the Common Fisheries Policy.

Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development (Tuesday, 13.7.)

At the Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development, the Minister pointed out that the key priority task of the Presidency would be to finalise the Common Agricultural Policy reform. “We endeavour to adopt the legislative package in such a way that all the secondary legislation adoption procedures may be implemented in time”.

In pursuing the “Farm to Fork” Strategy objectives, the Council will dedicate attention also to the growth and development of organic farming. Improvement of competitiveness and income situation of farmers in the food supply chain will be of crucial importance for the fair distribution of added value between the stakeholders. The EU Council will expose also the question of designation of origin of agricultural products, in particular of the designation of origin of honey blends. Great emphasis will be placed on the protection of a high level of animal welfare and, the major substantive dossiers will include also the EU Forest Strategy.

Committee on Environment, Public Health and Food Safety (Wednesday, 14.7.)

The Minister Jože Podgoršek highlighted that the goal of the Slovenian Presidency would be to make a shift towards addressing agriculture as a crucial and strategic activity that guarantees the dependable, sufficient, sustainable and resilient food security in line with the strategic guidelines of the “Farm to Fork” Strategy. “Key elements of our programme are therefore such contents that are becoming increasingly important for the citizens and thus need to be incorporated in agricultural policy – here, I am thinking of food safety, plant protection, and animal health and welfare”. Among the key events during the Presidency will be the 2021 United Nations Food System Summit, where the future orientations of global food systems within the 2030 Agenda will be shaped.