Through its Common Agricultural Policy (CAP), the European Union is committed to ensuring a high standard of living for farmers, while setting the conditions for the health and welfare of animals, environment protection, and food safety. The European Union estimates that agriculture is the key sector of sustainable economic development.
The European Union wants to ensure that agriculture is sustainable and competitive. In order to contribute to this goal, the European Union finances marketers oriented towards production which meets the demand of consumers, while at the same time preserving the nature, health, and welfare of animals. The annual budget used by the European Union for this purpose is around € 59 billion and is realized through the European Agricultural Guarantee Fund (EAGF) and the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD).
The European Union's biodiversity strategy aims to stop the loss of biodiversity and the loss of ecosystem services by 2020. European Union legislation on nature, and in particular the Birds Directive and the Habitats Directive, constitutes the backbone of biodiversity policy and the legal basis for the network of protected natural resources (NATURA 2000). Also, according to the above directives, Member States must act in order to preserve vulnerable habitats and species in Europe.
The directives include 57 habitat types and 257 species that are dependent on agricultural activities or associated with various agricultural activities.
The concept of high nature value farming is proposed as one of the indicators of the impact of agriculture on the environment, species and habitats, which should be included in the framework of the monitoring and evaluation of the Common Agricultural Policy in the period 2014-2020. As such, it will be applied through the provisions of Article 110 of the proposed Horizontal Regulation of CAP (Regulation of Council (EC) No. 1259/1999). Accordingly, the Member States will have to provide data for this indicator in the context of the framework for monitoring and evaluation of the Common Agricultural Policy. A legislative proposal for rural development for the period 2014-2020 includes the restoration and preservation of biodiversity in high nature value farming areas within one of the six priorities of the European Union for rural development.
Agriculture and rural development
NEGOTIATION CHAPTER 11 - Agriculture and rural development
The Common Agricultural Policy of the European Union is one of the most important areas, both in terms of the number of regulations regulating this area and the share of the agricultural budget in the overall budget of the European Union. Namely, the size of the budget of the Common Agricultural Policy is very high and amounts to almost 40% of the total EU budget.
The axis of the European Union agricultural policy is the division into two pillars. The first pillar consists of direct payments and market interventions, while the second pillar is related to rural development policy.
Direct payments mean that, with the respect of certain conditions (environmental and human health protection, food safety, respect for animal welfare, maintenance of land in good condition), farmers receive incentives no matter what type of production they are dealing with.
Market interventions relate to intervention purchase and other forms of withdrawal of products from the market, support for the production of certain products, quota system, support toproducer organizations (in the fruit and vegetable sector). It is necessary to underline that in this area, as well as in the field of direct payments, a Member State cannot have its national measures, it is a policy at the level of the European Union.
Rural development includes measures that are necessary for the development of activities in rural areas which contribute to strengthening the competitiveness of agriculture and forestry, improving the biodiversity of rural areas, improving the quality of life, and measures to encourage the diversification of rural economy
Food safety, veterinary and phytosanitary policy
NEGOTIATION CHAPTER 12 - Food safety, veterinary and phytosanitary policy
This chapter covers detailed rules in the field of food safety, veterinary and phytosanitary policy. The food safety system in the European Union is based on several principles: responsibility of producer (of food, but also animal feed); traceability of food (the ability to track food, animal feed, food components and animals through all phases in the chain); application of the risk analysis system, as well as application of the precautionary principle when necessary.
In the field of veterinary and phytosanitary policy, European Union regulations lay down the rules of internal trade and introduction of live animals and products from third countries in the veterinary, plant health and animal nutrition sectors, while ensuring the protection of public health, plants and animals health and animal welfare, as well as animal origin food safety in the internal market.
NEGOTIATION CHAPTER 13 - Fishing
The chapter on fishing consists of regulations that do not require transposition into national legislation. However, it is necessary to introduce certain measures to prepare administration and operators for participation in a common fishing policy that includes market policy, resource management, inspection and control, structural actions, and state aid control. In some cases, it is necessary to adapt existing fishing agreements and conventions with third countries or international organizations.
The European Union's common fishing policy includes the issues of exploitation and management of fish resources, the issue of fish products market regulation, structural policy issues, monitoring and control issues, as well as international cooperation in fishing. European Union fishing policy is reformed every ten years, in response to changes in the quantity of fish, as well as to general economic opportunities in fishing. The aim is to ensure the long-term sustainable use of living resources of the sea at the European level and take into account the growing market demand for healthy sea products.
NEGOTIATION CHAPTER 27 - Environment
The European Union's environmental policy aims to promote sustainable development and environmental protection for present and future generations. It is based on preventive actions, (according to the principle - polluter pays), fight against environmental damage at source of pollution, joint responsibility and integration of environmental protection into other EU policies.
The European Union gives special attention to the issue of combating climate change, and about 20% of the budget for 2014-2020 is allocated for this practical and political field. The new framework for climate and energy policy of the European Union by 2030 foresees areduction of greenhouse gas emissions by 40% compared to 1990. The basic instruments of the policy of combating climate change are decarbonization, increasing the use of renewable energy sources and energy efficiency.
Significant investments and a strong and well-equipped administration at the national and local levels are needed to implement the acquis in the field of environment. The Member States must establish a specific framework for financial management and control, including auditing.