German minister: We're hoping for good cooperation during Estonia's EU presidency
Germany is hoping for good cooperation in the field of digitalization and innovative solutions during Estonia's upcoming presidency of the Council of the EU, visiting German Minister of Agriculture Christian Schmidt said.
"We have high expectations as Estonia's reputation is very strong," Schmidt told Postimees and BNS following his meeting with Estonian Minister of Rural Affairs Urmas Kruuse.
In regard to the EU's common agricultural policy, Germany is hoping for a simpler and more easily understandable approach to subsidies and rules, Schmidt said.
"We'd also offer our support to make better use of digital knowledge so as to make it easier for farmers," the German minister said, observing that a great deal of paperwork remains involved for farmers at the moment. "We'd like to couple Estonian know-how with Germany's great interest."
Schmit stated that he and Kruuse had agreed during their meeting that new instruments were needed for developing the free agricultural market and novel solutions such as hedging and insurance should be considered.
Estonia's EU presidency in the second half of 2017 will definitely be affected by the UK's decision to exit the EU and how Brexit will shape up, Schmidt said. As the situation will probably become clearer at the beginning of next year, the second half of the year will be dominated by related discussions, he added.
According to the German minister, however, Estonia's preparations for the presidency have made good progress. In light of the new situation, he noted, the Estonian government has made it very far.
"We have a similar approach — Estonia's approach is similar to Germany's," Schmidt commented, adding that cooperation between the countries was bound to be very good.