Alun Davies, Deputy Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries, Food and European Programmes.
On the 13th June 2011, I attended the Joint Ministerial Committee (Europe) meeting on behalf of the First Minister.
The Joint Ministerial Committee (Europe) is a formal meeting, established by the Memorandum of Understanding between the devolved administrations and the UK Government, to discuss the co-ordination of European policy. There are four meetings a year held before each European Council meeting (in March, June, October and December).
I outlined the Welsh Government’s EU priorities, emphasising our interests in the forthcoming negotiations on agriculture and EU funding. I stressed collaborative working, consultation and co-operation between ministers and officials of the four administrations and the importance the Welsh Government attaches to being able to attend and speak at EU Council meetings.
In a discussion about the June European Council (23rd-24th June), I affirmed Wales’ commitment to working alongside the UK Government on Roma issues; I stressed the need for consultation on Wales’ contribution to economic actions recommended for the UK by the European Commission as part of the European Semester; and I welcomed the UK’s focus on deregulation but re-iterated the need for dialogue about process so there would be no inadvertent impacts on Welsh law making.
I also highlighted the Welsh Government’s position on the EU Multiannual Financial Framework (or Financial Perspectives as it is sometimes known) - the seven year EU budget from 2014-20, covering all areas of EU spending, including the Common Agricultural Policy and Structural Funds.
This was a valuable opportunity to underline the importance this government attaches to the Common Agricultural Policy and Structural Funds and the potential impact of any reductions to the EU budget on Welsh farmers and communities.
The Welsh Government will continue to emphasise the importance of the forthcoming EU budget negotiations and will continue to meet with UK Government ministers to ensure that Wales' needs are met and that our voice is heard on these and other EU matters which impact on Wales.