European Union agriculture ministers will integrate concerns about the environment and sustainable development into future considerations of European agriculture policy.

The ministers adopted the policy on Tuesday at the EU Agriculture Council meeting in Luxembourg, where they agreed that the "continued integration of environmental consideration and sustainable development into agricultural policy is vital."

The policy change will mean the European Commission will now assess agriculture policy's effects on the environment and sustainable development in connection with the mid-term review of Agenda 2000, which is due for 2002-2003.