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Monday, 12 April 2010

Consensus on post-2013 CAP still elusive

In the absence of consensus at this stage on the future of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP), the Spanish EU Presidency had to make do, at the Agriculture Council on 29 March in Brussels, with presenting its own conclusions on market management measures and improving the way the food supply chain operates. On the first point, it had not even contemplated the adoption of Council conclusions, but on the second, it tried unsuccessfully to have conclusions approved. In both cases, the most liberal member states refused to play the game. The “majority” of the 27 ministers find that the CAP is “sufficiently” market oriented and recommend that a “safety net” and existing instruments – possibly revised - remain in place for the entire agro-food sector, according to the Spanish Presidency’s conclusions on post-2013 management measures. The Belgian and Hungarian Presidencies support and “subscribe unconditionally” to these conclusions. The text, which sums up the exchange of views by ministers at the previous meeting, on 22 February, states that “some” member states support the creation of new tools: strengthening of producers’ and joint trade organisations, establishment of “standard contracts” in the sector to improve its functioning and the transparency of prices, income insurance and operators’ earnings.

Source: Europolitics