Press Releases Presidency publishes conclusions on the future of agriculture in the EU

Presidency publishes conclusions on the future of agriculture in the EU

Today member states widely supported a set of conclusions setting out a vision for the future of agriculture in the EU.

“The conclusions represent a broadly supported vision for the future of agriculture and set out our ambitions for a competitive sector. They place farmers at the heart of our concerns and underline the strategic role of agriculture in guaranteeing food security in an open economy. The conclusions also recognize the importance of research and innovation. Finally, priorities also include administrative simplification and support for young farmers.”

David Clarinval, Belgian Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for the Self-Employed, SMEs and Agriculture, Institutional Reform and Democratic Renewal

Strategic role of agriculture

The conclusions stress the key role of the sector when it comes to ensuring food security and strategic autonomy and acknowledge the numerous challenges it is facing, including climate change, geopolitical tensions, profitability, and the administrative burden.

The text recalls the European Council meetings in February, March and April 2024, during which EU leaders stressed the essential role of the common agricultural policy (CAP) and recognised that a competitive, sustainable and resilient agricultural sector is a key strategic interest of the Union. The EU leaders also concluded that farmers need a stable and predictable framework, including to accompany them in tackling environmental and climate challenges.

A strong and competitive EU agricultural sector

The conclusions highlight the contribution and the potential of agriculture as regards sustainable economic growth. In this regard, the text stresses that it is necessary to ensure that farmers earn a fair income and that their position in the food supply chain should be improved. Recent Commission initiatives, such as the launch of the EU Agrifood Chain Observatory, were welcomed.

As far as trade is concerned, the conclusions stress that the EU is a net exporter of agrifood products and that it is important to ensure a fair, open, rules-based trading system and level-playing field. The conclusions invite the Commission to regularly update its assessment of the impact of free trade agreements on the agricultural sector.

The member states supporting the conclusions also call on the Commission to carefully assess the impact of EU enlargement in order to prepare the agricultural sector for this process.

In their conclusions, the supporting delegations acknowledge that appropriate resources are necessary for the CAP so that it can deliver on its goals.

Innovation and cooperation

Research and innovation in the agricultural and food production sectors are key to ensuring that the EU can produce sustainable, safe, healthy and affordable food for its population.

In order to achieve this goal, the text stresses that funds complementary to the CAP play an important role.

The role of exchange networks and advisory services for farmers is also highlighted.

Simplification and less red tape

The conclusions stress the need for simplification and call on the Commission to monitor the sources of administrative burden and complexity for farmers, while highlighting that member states also have a role to play in the simplification process.

Support for young and new farmers

Young and new farmers are facing many difficulties when trying to start their businesses, including when it comes to accessing farmland or credit.

The text highlights the role of generational renewal for the farming sector and concludes that measures are necessary to tackle these issues.

Climate change resilience

Food security and a resilient EU agriculture sector are dependent on the preservation of our ecosystems. The agricultural sector has made many efforts to help achieve the EU’s climate, biodiversity, environmental, animal welfare and sustainability goals. The conclusions acknowledge that these efforts need to continue, while also taking into account the competitiveness and profitability of agriculture.

The text concludes that farmers need adequate support in the transition to adopting sustainable practices, and that the CAP as well as other instruments can play a role in assisting them to meet these challenges.


In order to provide input to the Commission ahead of the upcoming proposals for the future CAP, member states, on the initiative on the Presidency, started reflecting on the future of the sector and the presidency conclusions represent a step in this process.

The strategic dialogue on the future of EU agriculture, initiated by the Commission, which aims to depolarise the debates surrounding agriculture and the green transition, also play an important role in this process. The Agriculture and Fisheries Council held an informal lunch debate focusing on the strategic dialogue during its meeting on 29 April 2024.

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