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Thursday, 20 June 2013

Farm groups urge CAP deal by end of June

Farmers’ organisations are pressing EU negotiators to finalise a deal on the future agricultural policy amid growing concern that an agreement will not be reached before the end of June, further delaying implementation of Europe’s biggest programme. Negotiators were hoping to conclude talks on the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) this month, before Ireland hands over the presidency of the EU Council to Lithuania and ahead of a Parliamentary plenary session in July.
But several members of the European Parliament’s agricultural committee have expressed doubts that dozens of policy differences can be resolved by then.
Already, full implementation of the new CAP is unlikely until 2015 - one year after the 2014-2020 policy is due to go into effect. Delays could be expected to create uncertainty for farmers amid growing concerns about global market volatility and rising production costs.
Negotiations have now entered their third month following the Parliament’s approval on 13 March of a sweeping package of legislation that includes new environmental standards for farmers, a plan to gradually harmonise direct payments to farmers whether they are in new or older member states, and a timeline for phasing out support schemes for sugar and grape growers.
Also, negotiators must come up with final figures for the EU’s 2014-2020 budget. The budget for agriculture and rural development is expected to be around €380 billion, with some €280 billion set aside for direct payments to farmers and around €80 billion for rural development.

Source: Euractiv

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