The Czech Presidency will continue the debate on the long-term future of the Common Agricultural Policy begun under French leadership. Though France has insisted several times on the fact that the guidelines made in late 2008 did not prejudge the development of global budgetary discussions planned for 2009, the Czech Republic intends to broach this issue.

"The debate that we want to lead particularly concerns direct payments and their schema," stated Czech Agriculture Minister Petr Gandalovic. He went on to specify that "beyond 2013, the CAP should be cheaper, more flexible and fairer. In a louder and louder voice, we add that it should be equal for old and new member states". Moreover, Prague is not opposed to the conclusions defended by France, but has not hidden its scepticism on their contents.

The traditional informal Council, organised by the Czech Presidency, will take place in Brno, from 30 May to 2 June. The future of the CAP after 2013 will be on the agenda.

Regarding the other dossiers, the...

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