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Monday, 22 March 2010

Future common agricultural policy: Parliament kicks off debate

What are the new challenges facing European agriculture? Should the EU keep its common policy? How can it guarantee good living conditions to farmers, whilst ensuring best use of public funds? The Agriculture Committee kicked off debate on common agricultural policy reform, due to start next year, with a public hearing of experts on Wednesday (17th March 2010). The common agricultural policy "is part of the solution of new challenges", which has "some of the answers to the questions set out in the EU 2020 strategy", said George Lyon (ALDE, UK), the MEP drafting Parliament's resolution on the future of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP). Most speakers, (MEPs, farmers' representatives and academics), advocated keeping the policy at EU level, on the grounds that introducing "co-financing" (i.e. combining funding from EU and national budgets) could mean the end of the CAP. The majority also advocated introducing tools to restrain price volatility, stressing agriculture's benefits for society as a whole.

Source: European Parliament