EU Agricultural Reform - What is Going on?24 October 2012
EU - A year after the Commission published proposals to reform the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP), negotiations continue among the European decision-makers, reports the UK's National Farmers' Union (NFU).
The Agriculture Council is hoping to state its position by the end of 2012. Meanwhile, the European Parliament’s Agriculture Committee is working its way through the 7,500 amendments that were tabled over the summer with an eye to finding “compromises”. A vote on the compromise amendments was expected by the end of the year, but internal rules of procedure could result in a delay into 2013.
The NFU is engaged with key MEPs to develop these amendments further to make them as practical as possible for our members.
Many of the key policy concerns for the member states, such as greening, modulation, capping and Treasury financing have been put to one side until there is an outcome to the EU Budget 2014-2020 negotiations.
David Cameron and the other heads of government will attend an extraordinary meeting of the European Council at the end of November to try to hammer out a deal, which requires unanimity amongst all 27 member states. It’s not an easy task - but with the CAP accounting for almost 40 per cent of the Budget, the outcome will have a significant impact on CAP policy.
The final outcome on the CAP negotiations is not expected until Spring 2013 at the earliest.
It’s therefore likely that the start of the new CAP will be delayed.
This is not such a problem for the Single Farm Payment, which will roll on under the current rules, but for farmers whose agri-environment schemes come to an end in 2014, any delays to the start of the new rural development programme may create problems. The NFU has pressed the European Commission to propose transitional arrangements which will alleviate this problem and is urging MEPs to raise our concerns in Brussels.
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