PART II - IX. SITUATION IN THE AGRICULTURAL SECTOR
53. The European Council expresses its concern about the severity of the situation in the agricultural sector and its solidarity with farmers and others in rural communities. It welcomes and stresses the importance of effective cooperation among national authorities and endorses the thorough measures being taken by the Council, the Commission and the Member States. It is determined to contain and ultimately eradicate foot-and-mouth disease and BSE. What has occurred underlines the importance of having a food chain which is safe and sustainable in order to restore consumer confidence. It urges third countries to lift measures taken which are not proportionate to either the extent of the problem or to the precautionary principle. The European Council stresses that Community measures need to respect the financial perspective.
54. The European Council invites the Council and the European Parliament to ensure that the decision on the establishment of a European Food Authority is taken before the end of this year.