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Wednesday, 18 November 2009

MEPs back big budget for EU farm policy

The first exchange of views on the post-2013 Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) last week showed that the European Parliament may well use its new powers to block any significant budget cuts for the policy. If EU farm policy is to address important new demands, including food security, biodiversity and water management, then "it is a paradox" that the Commission plans a significant reduction in resources, said the Italian chair of the Parliament's agriculture committee, Paolo De Castro, speaking at a workshop on the CAP's future after 2013 on 10 November. His comments follow the leak to the press late last month of a Commission draft paper hinting at substantial cuts to the CAP's share in the bloc's long-term budget. EU Agriculture Commissioner Mariann Fischer Boel denied ever having backed the draft communication, and referred to it as "a non-paper which should have been thrown in the bin". In any case, "we can't decide on the budget before a debate on the CAP," she said.

Source: Euractiv