Agriculture and “Ecological Transition”: two ministries for two technical profiles

New Holland 2019

By Álvaro Bárez.

After the appointment of Pedro Sánchez as the seventh president of democracy in Spain, the first pools around the names of the ministers of the new government did not wait. In all of them there was a name: Teresa Ribera. The former Secretary of State for Climate Change between 2008 and 2011 was emerging as the new minister of the portfolio of environmental policies. Something that was confirmed on June 5, once Cristina Narbona (the other name on the table for that portfolio) opted to step aside in the configuration of the new government.

From that moment, the quinielas of the agri-food press began to launch names of the possible tenants of the Palace of Development in Atocha: Iratxe García, Francisco Martínez Arroyo, Pilar Cancela … were some of them. As the daisy was defoliated and the names of the new ministers of Development, Economy, Health, Labor were confirmed … there was growing uncertainty about the Ministry of Agriculture, to the point of raising the possibility of the disappearance of the nomenclature itself of “Agriculture” to depend on the “macroministerio” of Teresa Ribera. Something that could bring us back to the governments of José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero, in which the portfolios of the then Ministry of the Environment, Rural and Marine Affairs were assumed by Elena Espinosa and Rosa Aguilar.

And finally, just at the moment the door of Philip VI’s office was opened to receive Pedro Sánchez and the composition of his government, sources close to the chief executive confirmed the secretary general of the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) ), Luis Planas, as the new Minister of Agriculture.


Without yet entering the profile of the “graceful” (at times, the appointments have seemed more like a lottery draw than a designation) an idea has become clear. Agriculture and the Environment have their own entity. The bet of Pedro Sánchez for the ecological transition of the economy is behind this decision with the return to split the agricultural areas of environmental and in the fight against climate change gains weight in the headquarters of the Plaza de San Juan from the cross.

Two ministries, two technical profiles

What is also intuited is that, far from opting for a transitional government waiting for a short term (even very short if the PSOE fails to approve the revalidation of future budgets) the new president of the government has formed a council of ministers strong and with some interesting technical profiles.

Among them, the new minister for the Ecological Transition, Teresa Ribera. Until now director of the Institute of Sustainable Development and International Relations (IDDRI) has been, in addition to Secretary of State for Climate Change, general director of the Office of Climate Change between 2004 and 2008. It is clear that it will be precisely the fight against change climate one of the most important tasks in your portfolio. Its accredited national and international trajectory makes it worthy of the confidence of the sector, which also expects new impulses in policies that have been left “half-done”, such as the implementation of a National Water Pact. Special mention deserves the new nomenclature of the ministry. A clear wink to that electorate that has made the ecology its flag and that supposes a declaration of intentions of the government of face to the bet by the renewable energies.

For its part, the new Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, Luis Planas, has more than proven experience in both the agricultural sector and within the European Commission. Twice Minister of Agriculture in Andalusia, he headed the cabinets of the first vice-president of the European Commission, Manuel Marín, and after the commissioner Pedro Solbes. Ambassador of Spain in Morocco, Ambassador Permanent Representative of Spain to the European Union, Secretary General of the EESC … A very good curriculum to face the first and main challenge that the new Minister has on the table: the negotiation of the new CAP presented on passed June 1 and the defense of the new community budgetary framework until 2027. It is a wise choice, therefore, to appoint a known and knowledgeable person in Brussels who has left a good impression on the agrarian organizations, who remember him as a dialogue and his commitment to the union of Spain in the previous negotiation of the CAP during his time at the head of the Andalusian Ministry of Agriculture. “The wait has been worth it,” they say. Reassure, then, that you do not have to explain anything, as has happened on previous occasions. As for the nomenclature of the ministry … without news in the front.

Ribera y Planas “replace in office” Isabel García Tejerina, of which it is fair to say that she has worked with great effort and dedication during the four years in which she has occupied the main office of the Ministry of Agriculture. His are achievements such as the laws of the food chain and quality, in addition to the Law of Priority Associative Entities. It has also been an achievement to know how to surround yourself with a competent team that is knowledgeable about the subjects they have had to deal with: Fernando Miranda, Valentín Almansa, Carlos Cabanas … they have set the bar high. Posts to improve, has lacked a more fluid relationship with the media, something that handled perfectly his predecessor in charge, Miguel Arias Cañete.

The bet is made and just need to start making the new equipment and start shooting. As far as Agriculture is concerned, who subscribes these words hopes that the hackneyed phrase of “the agri-food sector is a priority for this government” is not just a cliche to please oneself, but that, once and for all, agriculture is taken into account as that sector that is the engine of the Spanish economy, spearhead of our exports and that fixes population in the rural environment, something fundamental in the fight against depopulation that will be, together with the digitalization of the sector, another of the challenges of the new ministry.


➡️Six countries sign a common Ministerial Declaration against cuts in the CAP

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