The Slovenian EU Presidency inherits the thorny dossier on the 'health check' of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP). It is under pressure to achieve a result because the French EU Presidency which follows intends to move onto another phase: the launch of discussions for post-2013. And Paris wants to cut to the core of the legislative proposals resulting from the health check, whose presentation is planned for May 2008.

For Ljubljana, the stakes are high - all the more so since agriculture ministers have set a tight schedule with the aim of adopting the highest number of texts before the Lisbon Treaty comes into force on 1 January 2009 and the European Parliament receives co-decision powers.

Iztok Jarc, the Slovenian agriculture minister, wants to bring to completion the wine dossier by proceeding, by spring 2008, with adoption of the application measures of the reform of the common organisation of the market. Similarly, in January, discussions on environment cross-compliance will be organised with a view to adoption in February.

The EU will also return, in February, to Agriculture Commissioner Mariann Fischer Boel's proposal to increase milk quotas by 2%. Slovenia is looking to have this adopted in March.

Finally, the review of the cotton regime should be on the ministers' table in February, in the hope of an agreement in April or May. Also in May, Jarc hopes to close the dossier on the common...

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