TALLINN - EU agriculture ministers will meet in Luxembourg on Monday to discuss the situation of agricultural markets in light of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, with regard to which Estonian Minister of Rural Affairs Urmas Kruuse said that the Union needs to focus on how to better respond to crises in the future.
"The common agricultural policy and national strategic plans are a great strength of the European Union -- the Estonian strategic plan was recently approved by the government. Through the strategic plans, member states can contribute to the sustainability of food systems and to meeting climate goals. This also helps ensure food security and reduce the EU's dependence on imported goods, energy and raw materials," Kruuse said.
The minister added that Estonia continuously attaches great importance to the functioning of the common free market without any limitations on bans on export.
"Rapid exchange of information between states and flexible action are important to support agriculture in coping with the crisis and ensuring food security," he said.
Ministers will receive information from the European Commission on its communication on the state of implementation of the EU's common fisheries policy. They will further be informed on consultations for fishing opportunities for 2023.
"The principles in the communication are in accordance with the common fisheries policy. However, the common fisheries policy needs to take into consideration the specific characteristics of the Baltic Sea with regard to both the fleet and quotas," Kruuse said.
The Commission is preparing a report on the application of EU health and environmental requirements to imported agricultural and food products. At the meeting, n interim overview will be given to member states of the current state of the report. In the committee's assessment, making food systems more sustainable is a global issue and in order to ensure an efficient transition, the European Union cannot do it alone.
Kruuse said that Estonia supports the EU's efforts to promote a transition to sustainable food systems at an international level.
"We support increasing the European Union's proactive role in sustainable development and value chains in the international trade policy, development cooperation and international scientific cooperation to thereby increase the competitiveness of our sustainable businesses and foster a global green transition," he said.