“We had the opportunity to engage in intensive, and in some cases very personal talks, in a very friendly, relaxed and positive atmosphere”, said Horst Seehofer, Chair of the Agriculture
Council and Federal Minister of Food, Agriculture and Consumer Protection, today at the conclusion of the Informal Meeting which was held in Mainz as part of the EU Council Presidency. “We held
very open discussions on policies for rural areas, thereby continuing the talks in Krems and Oulu.”
Family photo of the EU Agriculture Ministers During the discussions, it became clear that the Common Agricultural Policy is important for the future of the rural regions. “Sixty percent of
people live in rural areas and 53 % of all jobs are located in these areas”, says Seehofer. It is therefore particularly important to promote rural life, to point out the prospects which exist
in rural areas, and to make rural life attractive. “We were all agreed that we need a raft of measures which go far beyond merely promoting the agricultural sector. There must be more rapid
development of all aspects of rural areas”, emphasised the minister. There was also consensus that the 2003 agricultural reform has given farmers new scope for tailoring production to market
requirements. It was agreed that this would provide a solid basis for developing the European agricultural model further and for securing it beyond 2013.
Another subject which was repeatedly addressed during the Informal Council was the reform of the EU market organisation for wine. The EU Commission provided the Member States and the EU
Parliament with the first key points for discussion last year. The EU Commission will present the specific reform proposals on 4 July.
The Informal Meeting of the EU Agriculture Ministers took place in Mainz from 20 until 22 May 2007, as part of the German EU Council Presidency. The theme of the meeting was “Wine and Culture”,
offering the ministers a varied and interesting programme.