Rotating EU chairman Portugal presented 'a package of proposals' late last week to speed up the trilogue negotiations on a new EU agricultural policy.
At the last trialogue on March 10, Portuguese Minister of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality Maria do Céu Antune referred to the new performance model on direct payments, she told Euractiv. She did not want to go into further detail.
Antunes rejected the idea that insurmountable difficulties had arisen during the negotiations. She did point out, however, that 'social conditionality' was not part of the original proposal of the European Commission from 2018. Moreover, it is not within a year's mandate, she says.
Through 'social conditionality', NGOs and trade unions are pleading for all kinds of treaties on social rights to be included in agricultural policy. As a result, minimum wage laws would also apply to hired seasonal workers.
Antunes said her proposal to convene a super trialogue had been warmly welcomed by Chairman Norbert Lins of the European Parliament's Agriculture Committee and EU Agriculture Commissioner Janusz Wojciechowski. The MEP agriculture committee COMAGRI is discussing the progress of the trialogue today and tomorrow.
How the 27 LNV ministers think about the Portuguese 'package' and the invitation to the 'super trialogue' will be made clear next week at the EU agricultural council on 22 March. The COMAGRI committee, the European Commission and the LNV ministers have not yet formally responded to this.
Portugal is still optimistic that an agreement on the new CAP policy can be reached soon. Speaking on EURACTIV's weekly Agrifood podcast, Antunes reiterated its commitment to bring about the CAP reform this six months.