Context:

Virtual meeting between Union Minister for Agriculture & Farmers Welfare of India and Member of European Commission-Agriculture was held recently.

Relevance:

GS-II: International Relations (Foreign Policies, Treaties and Agreements affecting India’s Interests)

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. About the European Commission (EC)
  2. Highlights of the India – European Commission meet
  3. India’s Points highlighted during the meet

Click Here to read more about the European Union

About the European Commission (EC)

  • The European Commission (EC) is an executive body of the European Union (EU), responsible for proposing legislation, implementing decisions, upholding the EU treaties and managing the day-to-day business of the EU.
  • The Commission is divided into departments known as Directorates-General (DGs) that can be likened to departments or ministries headed by a director-general who is responsible to a commissioner.
  • It operates as a cabinet government, with 28 members of the Commission. There is one member per member state. These members are proposed by member countries and European Parliament gives final approval to them.
  • One of the 28 members is the Commission President proposed by the European Council and elected by the European Parliament.

Highlights of the India – European Commission meet

India-EU Summit in July, 2020

  • The strong momentum of the India-European Union (EU) relations especially since the last India-EU Summit in July, 2020 was acknowledged in the meeting.
  • Indian Prime Minister had participated in the India-European Union (EU) Leaders’ Meeting in July 2020 and it was the first time that the EU hosted a meeting with India in the EU+27 format.
  • During the meet, India and EU agreed to relaunch free trade negotiations by resuming talks that were suspended for the Bilateral Trade and Investment Agreement (BTIA).
  • India and EU had launched talks for having a wide-ranging Free Trade Agreement (FTA), officially called broad-based BTIA, long ago in 2007.

 

EU Common Agriculture Policy (CAP)

  • The Common Agricultural Policy (CAP), a common policy for all EU countries, is a partnership between agriculture and society, and between Europe and its farmers.
  • It aims to support farmers, improve agricultural productivity, ensure a stable supply of affordable food, safeguard EU farmers, tackle climate change and the sustainable management of natural resources etc.
  • It is managed and funded at European level from the resources of the EU’s budget.

EU Farm to Fork Strategy

  • The EU Farm to Fork Strategy aims to make food systems fair, healthy and environmentally-friendly and it is one of the key components of the European Green Deal. It aims to accelerate transition to a sustainable food system.
  • Reforms were undertaken by the EU in the CAP as well as the Farm to Fork Strategy to make agriculture green as well as sustainable.

United Nations Food System Summit 2021

  • The United Nations (UN) Secretary General has called for the first ever UN Food Systems Summit to be held in September 2021 to strategize the actions for positive change in Agri-food systems in the world to realize the vision of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

India’s Points highlighted during the meet

  • 70% of its rural households still depend primarily on agriculture for their livelihood, with 82% of farmers being small and marginal.
  • Agriculture Infrastructure Fund with a corpus of Rs One Lakh Crore for development of farm gate and agriculture marketing infrastructure in rural areas.
  • Scheme of formation of 10000 Farmer Produce Organizations (FPOs) to help small and marginal farmers in marketing of agricultural produce.
  • India raised the issue of fixing the Maximum Residual Limit (MRL) of Tricyclazole used in rice crop which has been a concern for India and is affecting India’s Basmati Rice Exports to the EU.

-Source: PIB

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