Lithuanian Presidency secured political agreement on food and feed expenditure

20 December 2013, Last updated at, 17:41 EET
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author: AP/Scanpix

In the Committee of Permanent Representatives (COREPER I) the Member States confirmed the political agreement reached by the Lithuanian EU Council Presidency in negotiations with the European Parliament on the Proposal for a Regulation laying down provisions for the management of expenditure relating to the food chain, animal health and animal welfare, and relating to plant health and plant reproductive material. The total amount of 1 891,936 million EUR is foreseen for expenditure in relation to food and feed during the period 2014-2020.

This legislative act is part of the 'Healthier Animals and Plants for a Safer Food Chain Package' and it will replace the current financial provisions in multiple legal bases by one single.
“This important Regulation sets a clear and modern financial framework to optimise the implementation and the functioning of financial management of expenditure in the field of food and feed. It simplifies financial management structures, by setting clear objectives and indicators,” – says Minister of Agriculture of Lithuania prof. Vigilijus Jukna.

The Lithuanian Minister thanks the Member States for confirming this compromise established with the European Parliament, so the dossier is politically concluded and the co-legislators will not reopen discussions on the details.

During the final trilogue with the European Parliament (on 17 December) the Lithuanian Presidency secured preliminary agreement on the principles of all the outstanding issues.
The following main elements are included into the political agreement by the co-legislators:
- Prevention is one of the key objectives of the regulation;
- Activities to be co-financed by 100% concern the prevention and control of serious human, plant and animal health risks for the Union; are designated to avoid human casualties or major economic disruptions for the Union as a whole;
- A list of general priorities for co-financing is annexed to the regulation. 

The final review of the text will be carried out in January, under Greek Presidency. The official letter sealing the political agreement at first reading will then be sent to the Parliament (end of January, subject to confirmation by the Greek Presidency), so that plenary can vote the text before the end of the current parliamentary term (March or April).

The veterinary eradication programmes are essential to progressively eliminate a number of listed animal diseases which are endemic in certain areas of the Union, by means of a wide range of measures including vaccination, testing of animals and compensation for slaughtering and culling.

EU funding to support these measures gives priority to diseases of public health importance and those which have major economic impacts, due to trade implications and income losses for farmers, for the wider livestock industry, as well as adjacent sectors.

The EU plant health and plant reproductive material regimes give priority to the protection of EU agriculture and forestry by preventing the entry and spread of non-native pests of plants and to the availability and use of healthy plant material at the beginning of the chain of plant production.

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