EU Ministers Agree on New Agriculture Policy, Estonia Happy (2)
EU agriculture and fisheries ministries completed negotiations to reform the union's agriculture policy, with results set to benefit Estonia.
“Negotiations ended well for Estonia and we managed to receive favorable terms in the most important topics, at the very end of the talks,” Minister of Agriculture Helir-Valdor Seeder said in a press release today.
Seeder said Estonia received exemption from a rule that obliges all farmers to keep some arable land unused as ecological focus areas. The derogation is important because half of Estonia is forested. The minister added that in less forested areas of the country, the requirement will stand.
The ministers agreed to abolish milk production quotas by 2015 and sugar production quotas by 2017.
While a lack of a limit on sugar production is unlikely to affect Estonian farmers, 96 percent of the 2011/2012 milk quota was filled, with total production reaching a new record.
The minister-level talks ended late on Tuesday and the new policy will be discussed today by the European Commission and the European Parliament.
Agriculture makes up 40 percent of EU's budget expenditure.