Slovenia does not wish to be constrained in CAP strategic plans

Ljubljana – EU agriculture ministers debated Monday and Tuesday the preparation of Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) strategic plans. Slovenia welcomed the EU Commission’s recommendations but warned that countries may not be restricted in the selection of measures, Minister Jože Podgoršek said.

“Not all recommendations can be addressed with CAP interventions, and in the selection of interventions it is necessary to ensure a suitable balance between economic, social and environmental aspects,” Podgoršek said.

Speaking to the press after the session, the minister highlighted the need to find a solution for part-time farmers, of whom there are many in Slovenia.

“We advocate a flexible implementation of redistributive payments and want a political agreement and a legislative framework of a new CAP to be reached as soon as possible,” he said.

The meeting also discussed the bloc’s strategy for forests with Podgoršek noting that Slovenia advocated a “multi-purpose, close-to-nature and sustainable management of forests” and the importance of the ecological, economic and social dimensions of forests.

“Slovenia is an example of best practice and the strategy will have to take into consideration the different baselines in individual countries,” he said.

Podgoršek also held talks with Italian Agriculture Minister Stefano Patuanelli, including on the cross-border protection of teran wine, cooperation in fisheries in the North Adriatic, and the labelling of food products.

Italy recently formally opposed a Slovenian rule stipulating that any vinegar mixture with concentrated fruit juice or must could be labelled balsamic vinegar. According to Podgoršek, balsamic vinegar was not a subject of discussion.

“Neither in this nor in any other case does Slovenia wish to interfere in protected balsamic vinegar products in Italy,” he said, noting that the new rules were identical to 2004 rules.

He expects that the EU Commission will determine that Slovenia’s rules do not interfere with the protection of balsamic vinegar in Italy.