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The EU's Agriculture Ministers met in Luxembourg on 16 November 2015 for the Agriculture and Fisheries Council. Chaired by Fernand Etgen, Luxembourg's Minister for Agriculture, the Council covered CAP simplification measures. 'Among the main simplification measures put forward by Member States, being greener and rural development were a particular focus', explained Fernand Etgen. The Council was then informed by the Commission of the issues linked to international trade in agricultural products. 'Some very important meetings and some no less important negotiations are ahead of us', stressed Fernand Etgen, speaking about the WTO ministerial summit in Nairobi in December, future trade negotiations with competitive agricultural countries, and TTIP negotiations. Regarding the implementation of a package of support measures for agricultural markets experiencing difficulties, Fernand Etgen indicated that 'the lack of hindsight' concerning implementation will require 'a more thorough assessment', which will be presented at the start of 2016.
The School Fruit and Vegetables Scheme and the School Milk Scheme are currently separate programmes under which EU aid is allocated to member states. In January 2014, the Commission presented two proposals merging the schemes and amending the new Single Common Market Organisation (single CMO) regulation under the reformed Common agricultural policy (CAP) (5958/14) and the regulation fixing certain aids and refunds (6054/14). Following the examination of the proposal in the Council, on 12 October 2015 the Special Committee on Agriculture (SCA) granted the Presidency a mandate to enter the first trilogue with the European Parliament on this proposal. The first trilogue took place on 20 October. The main issue at the time was the legal basis of the proposal, on which the mandate prepared for the 2nd trilogue shows some opening. At the end of the 2nd trilogue on 11 November, while recalling its attachment to reach a positive conclusion of this issue, the Presidency deems that it is appropriate to wait before setting the date of the next trilogue. It considers that further informal contacts in the meantime will allow to clarify some elements discussed and will facilitate those negotiations to resume efficiently as soon as possible.