L-R: Georges Ternes, Deputy Permanent Representative to the EU: Romain Schneider, Minister of Agriculture, Viticulture and Rural Development; Credit: European Union

Luxembourg has voted against the EU Copyright Directive at yesterday's Agriculture and Fisheries Council of Ministers.

On Monday 15 April 2019, EU agricultural ministers, including Luxembourg Minister of Agriculture, Viticulture and Rural Development Romain Schneider, gathered in the Grand Duchy for the most recent Agriculture and Fisheries Council. At the centre of the debate was the copyright directive, the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) reform and the rural Africa tax force.

The meeting started with legislative activities. During a vote in public session, Luxembourg voted against the copyright directive. Neverthless, the Ministers adopted with a qualified majority the Directive of the European Parliament and the Council on Copyright in the Digital Single Market. In a joint statement with the Netherlands, Poland, Italy and Finland, Luxembourg regretted that "the directive does not strike the right balance between the protection of rightholders and the interests of citizens and the EU. This risks hindering innovation rather than promoting it and having a negative impact on the competitiveness of the European digital single market. "

Ministers meeting in Council then continued their exchange of views on the post-2020 CAP reform package and in particular on the CAP Strategic Plan Regulation. In this context, the Ministers also discussed ecological architecture, namely the reform of agri-environmental aid that farmers receive in exchange for more sustainable farming practices. During the working lunch, the Ministers similarly discussed the impact of large carnivores on agriculture. Romain Schneider informed the Council that in Luxembourg, a Wolf Prevention and Management Plan has been in place since 2017 with the aim of safeguarding both traditional pastoral activities and large carnivore populations.

In the afternoon, the Ministers meeting in Council followed up with an exchange of views on the final report of the Task Force for Rural Africa which proposes recommendations on how to strengthen the rural sector in Africa and optimise the role played by the EU in creating jobs and promoting economic development. Commenting on this, Romain Schneider, "as a former minister of cooperation", stated: "The establishment of coherent cooperation policies that take into account issues related to agriculture and integrated rural development is necessary for peace and prosperity. Luxembourg has been involved for decades with our partner countries in the Sahelian band on these topics."

Ministers were then briefed on EU action on deforestation, during which Minister Schneider spoke in favor of an action plan taking into account all initiatives aimed at combating deforestation and forest degradation, as well as a substantial budget.

Finally, the Council received information on the market situation in the main agricultural sectors, as well as on the results of a high-level conference on research and agriculture which took place in Bucharest on 5 April 2019.