The Slovenia Times

Agriculture minister happy with Slovenian EU presidency

Industry & Agriculture

Ljubljana - Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Food Jože Podgoršek has assessed that Slovenia achieved most of the set goals in agriculture during its six-month stint as the EU presiding country. He singled out as one of the biggest achievements the Council's formal adoption of the new common agricultural policy (CAP) for 2023-2027.

There was a lot of work during the presidency, before which high and ambitious goals had been set, Podgoršek said at a news conference in Ljubljana on Friday.

"It's our view that eventually we have achieved most of the set goals, which is why we can see the presidency as six months of successful work at EU level in agriculture."

Podgoršek highlighted one major achievement in each of the three fields - agriculture, forestry and fisheries.

In agriculture, the new CAP "was definitely the biggest achievement of the trio of Germany, Portugal and Slovenia".

Germany prepared the basis for the negotiations of ministers, Portugal reached a political agreement after talks with the Commission and Parliament in June, and the Slovenian presidency had the task of putting the political agreement into legislation. "We did this in the best and fastest possible manner."

The minister said that most EU countries, including Slovenia, had submitted their CAP strategic plans to the Commission within the deadline by the end of 2021.

In forestry, he pointed to the Council's decisions on the new EU forest strategy until 2030, adding that as one of the countries with wast forests, Slovenia was among the more critical countries as it highlighted the need for more efficient and sustainable forest management.

The biggest achievement in fisheries was the harmonisation of fish quotas. "We managed to take into account the scientific advice and set the highest limit which still allows for sustainable use of this natural resource."

Among some minor yet important achievements he emphasised designating the origin of agricultural products, particularly honey blends from several countries and a decision on a plan of emergency measures to ensure food supply and food safety, while adding that unfair trade practice had also been in the focus.

Podgoršek, who took over at the Agriculture Ministry on 15 October 2020, said he would like to continue as agriculture minister also after this year's general election.

"My goal, desire is to continue the work after the election so that we could implement what we have set down in our CAP strategic plan."

Podgoršek, who comes from the Pensioners' Party (DeSUS), which formally left the government coalition a year ago, said he would like to work with the parties that shared his views and which would like to lead the Agriculture Ministry if entering parliament. More should be known "shortly, in a few weeks", he said.


More from Industry & Agriculture