19. MEASURES TO PROMOTE AND PROVIDE
INFORMATION ON AGRICULTURAL PRODUCTS IN THIRD COUNTRIES (5386/95)
Letter from the Rt Hon Joyce Quin MP,
Minister of State, Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food,
to Lord Tordoff, Chairman of the Committee
You may recall my predecessor, Bernard Donoughue,
wrote to you on 31 March 1999
in response to your earlier letter of 11 March 1999 in which you
expressed the concerns Sub-Committee D had about the above proposal.
He promised to keep you informed as matters progress and I am
now in a position to be able to do so.
The proposal has since been discussed at three
Working Group meetings in May, July and October and also in the
Special Committee on Agriculture (SCA) in June, July and November.
More recently, political agreement on the proposal was reached
on the basis of a compromise at Agriculture Council on 15-16 November.
It is now expected that the Council Regulation will be adopted
as an "A" point at a subsequent Council.
The Committee's concern about any resulting
Regulation being efficient and cost-effective was reflected in
the comments of many Member States and modifications were secured.
In particular, the Commission's original suggestion to act directly
through a complex consultation procedure was, in part, replaced,
at UK suggestion, by a single joint Management Committee to which
activities would be referred for opinion and decision.
As stated in Bernard's earlier letter to you,
it is inevitable that some producers will benefit from more support
than others due to the nature of their produce, but the creation
of the joint Committee with powers of approval over the total
budget allocations and monitoring of the results will ensure a
more impartial oversight and better targeting than the original
Your Committee was also concerned about the
concentration on generic promotion as opposed to the promotion
of specific branded products. This point was thoroughly aired
and, as a result, the Commission has given a written statement
that "measures may envisage the presentation of a broad range
of European products, including brand names, but the latter will
obviously not predominate". This allows a degree of balance
to be brought into what must essentially be generic promotion
Finally, the Committee will wish to note that
we have also negotiated the inclusion of a time limit of 31 December
2004 into the Regulation. The effect of this will ensure that
the Commission presents to Council and the European Parliament
a full report on the application and effectiveness of this Regulation.
30 November 1999
7 Printed in Correspondence with Ministers, 17th
Report, Session 1998-99, HL Paper 94, p 43. Back