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The State Secretary Mr. Ján Slabý took part at the first meeting of the Council of Ministers of Agriculture under the Spanish Council Presidency

26-01-2010

The State Secretary of the Ministry of Agriculture of the Slovak Republic Mr. Ján Slabý took part at the first meeting of the Council of  Ministers of Agriculture and Fisheries under the Presidencyof the Spanish Minister of Agriculture Mrs. Elena Espinosa in Brussels on 18 January 2010. In the field of agriculture the Spanish Presidency decided to operate under the slogan “Food and Agriculture - A Strategic Sector for Europe”. Presidency priorities are discussion on the future of the Common Agricultural Policy after 2013 – “Horizon 2020”, competitiveness of agriculture and the EU agro-food sector and they will also focus on the role of women in rural areas.

The discussion on the competitiveness of agro-food sector of the Community has already started at the first Council Meeting under the Spanish Presidency. All the Ministers welcomed the initiative to increase the competitiveness of the agro-food sector and also emphasized the need of equal status of the market participants and price transparency in the whole food chain. In his contribution the State Secretary Mr. Ján Slabý informed that there is also a contractual imbalance and unequal bargaining power of participants in the food supply chain in the Slovak Republic and it causes unfair trading practices. Therefore he appealed to the Commission to focus on the examination of these practices. The Spanish Minister of Agriculture Mrs. Elena Espinosa confirmed that the objective is to adopt the Council Conclusion on this topic during the Spanish Presidency.

The Council Meeting in January was the last meeting attended by the Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development Mrs. Mariann Fisher Boel. The next Council Meeting with the attendance of the new Commissioner will be held on 22 February 2010.