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Slovenian and Irish delegations discuss the strengthening of cooperation and the impact of Brexit on the agricultural sector

Ljubljana, 14 March 2019 – The Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Food, Dr Aleksandra Pivec, today met the Irish Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Andrew Doyle. The two ministers exchanged their views on the future of the Common Agricultural Policy after 2020, rural development and the impact of Brexit on the agricultural sector.

At the beginning of the meeting, Minister Pivec stressed the excellent bilateral relationship between the two countries. "Slovenia and Ireland signed a Memorandum of Understanding on cooperation in the field of agricultural policy and rural policy as early as in 2000. I personally see plenty of new opportunities for cooperation, particularly in the area of innovations, forestry and wood industry as well as in the areas of food industry and exchange of knowledge."

Minister Pivec thanked Minister of State Doyle for Ireland's support to the Slovenian initiative for the proclamation of World Bee Day. She expressed hope that successful cooperation in the field of beekeeping would also continue under the leadership of the newly founded Slovenian Beekeeping Academy.

Minister of State Doyle pointed out that Ireland would be the hardest hit Member State by a no-deal Brexit. "The United Kingdom is our biggest trading partner; therefore, a no-deal Brexit would have grave consequences for our economy, especially for our agricultural sector, agro-food and wood industry. Ireland greatly appreciates the support from Slovenia and other Member States in negotiations, particularly with regard to the guarantee for a soft border between Ireland and Northern Ireland. For us it will be crucial to find a solution for a free flow of goods and persons and for a customs union in the upcoming days and weeks." 

Later in the meeting, Minister of State Doyle exchanged views on the reform of the EU's Common Agricultural Policy with Slovenian State Secretary Tanja Strniša. They focused on the elements of the reform that are crucial for each State and agreed on a mutual support in further negotiations.

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