The working structures of COPA are determined by three basic ideas:
to enable representatives of the European Union from the various agricultural production sectors and areas to discuss matters concerning their respective sector or area and to suggest solutions to the problems posed
to coordinate work in the overall context of agriculture, agricultural policy and policy in general
to represent all sectors and areas together.
These ideas have resulted in the following structures:
The Praesidium consists of one representative per member organisation. Normally, these representatives are the presidents of the member organisations.
Apart from these national representatives, the following additional persons take part in Praesidium meetings: the President of COGECA, the President of CEJA (European Council of Young Farmers) and the Chairperson of the COPA Women's Committee.
The COPA President, who chairs the Praesidium meetings, may also invite any additional persons whose presence is regarded as useful. This applies in particular to the Chairmen or Chairwomen of the various COPA Working Parties, as well as to the Chairmen or Chairwomen of the joint COPA/COGECA Working Parties, whenever a subject relevant to their respective sectors is on the agenda.
The Praesidium normally meets every second month.
Its main function is to make all necessary decisions and organise COPA’s activities.
Praesidium positions are taken jointly with COGECA whenever they concern the agricultural sector as a whole.
The Praesidium elects from among its members a President and six Vice-Presidents for a two year term of office. The Presidency of COPA, which normally meets once a month, and the Presidency of COGECA together form a Coordination Committee which tries to reach agreement as far as the activities and positions of COPA and COGECA are concerned.
Policy Coordination Committee
Every month, the Policy Coordination Committee examines certain major horizontal issues and proposals from the COPA/COGECA Working Parties before they are submitted to the Praesidium. Every week, the Committee also exchanges information, coordinates the activities and follows up the decisions made by the Praesidium.
COPA has 50 Working Parties, dealing either with specific, production-related topics (e.g. cereals, beef meat) or with general questions (e.g. environment, rural development). Most of these Working Parties are constituted jointly with COGECA, but both COPA and COGECA also have separate Working Parties of their own. The Working Parties examine all questions concerning their sector, either on their own initiative or at the request of the Praesidium or the President of COPA.