Dear Ladies and Gentlemen,

members of the competent working bodies for agricultureand rural development, representatives of institutions and associations,

The proposal fora new legislative framework of the Common Agricultural Policy for the next programming period, under which the European Commission is leading the transition to a more sustainable agriculture for one of the oldest EU policies – agricultural policy, is aimed at strengthening the agricultural sector’s resilience, supporting farmers’ income and sustainability, fulfilling the role of agriculture in environmental and climate challenges, reducing administrative burden, generational renewal and stronger use of innovation in agriculture, as well as ensuring the vitality of rural areas and the development of rural areas and communities.

What are the benefits of greater flexibility in the selection of measures to meet the goals of agricultural policy? How to efficiently manage the issues related to agriculture in member states with strategic plans? How to strengthen the resilience of agricultural producers and of the agricultural sector? What is the link between the proposal for a legislative framework and food safety and quality? How will the proposal affect the vitality of rural areas and communities? How are measures to stop the depopulation of rural areas designed? Issues that, together with other topics related to the proposal of the new legislative framework, need to be discussed.

To that end, the Agriculture Committee of the Croatian Parliament and the Ministry of Agriculture of the Republic of Croatia launched the organization of a conference that will present representatives of the competent bodies of national parliaments of EU Member States, the Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development of the European Parliament, the European Commission, the Ministry of Agriculture of the Republic of Croatia and the competent sectorial associations with an opportunity to exchange their views and opinions and make an additional contribution to the debate and creating of a framework of the Union’s Common Agricultural Policy for the forthcoming programming period.

The added value of the conference lies in intensifying the interparliamentary cooperation between EU Member States and encouraging discussions and exchange of views both among the competent working bodies of national parliaments and with the legislators and professional associations.

I look forward to your arrival in Zagreb and your participating in the conference. I am convinced that the discussion between the representatives of the legislature and the executive and the representatives of professional associations will contribute to the process of adopting the legislative framework of the Common Agricultural Policy for the forthcoming programming period.

Sincerely,

 

Tomislav Panenić
Chairman of the Agriculture Committee

Croatian Parliament

Dear Participants,

I am pleased to welcome you at our Zagreb meeting, looking forward to the challenges ahead. The Common Agricultural Policy, as the oldest European Union policy, has changed over time to adapt to the new circumstances. Thus, the European Commission proposal launched in June 2018 offers instruments and solutions to the challenges we expect to encounter in agriculture in the post-2020 period.

At the Inter-parliamentary Conference, we will specifically focus on four current topics  we believe are of interest to all of the participants, regardless of the state they represent. The first of these will be devoted to the national strategic plans, which constitute the backbone of the proposed reform and a significant distinction from the still valid concept of the Common Agricultural Policy, consisting of two separate groups of income and market support on the one hand and structural measures on the other.

Subsequently, the question of generational renewal will be discussed, i.e. how to ensure the future of agricultural production. We will also consider the role of the rural development policy in local communities, from creating new jobs to improving living conditions in these areas by investing in the necessary infrastructure, as well as the ways in which local government can improve the use of funding opportunities within the rural development program.

In the end, we will focus on exchanging ideas on how to increase the value of agricultural products by using new knowledge and innovations to expand their safety and quality, and, thus, competitiveness and income of and in the agricultural sector.

Your presence in Zagreb and your participation in the exchange of views on the subject matter, for the future of the European agriculture key issues, are of  exceptional importance, having in mind one of the fundamental features of the Union – diversity-based learning. I believe that the conclusions of our meeting will provide a good framework for continuing the talks in the process of adopting the legislative framework of the Common Agricultural Policy.

I wish you a safe trip to Zagreb, and an even more enjoyable stay in Croatia.

Yours Sincerely,

 

Tomislav Tolušić
Deputy Prime Minister of the Republic of Croatia

and Minister of Agriculture