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Wednesday, 14 April 2010

Future of Europe's farming policy under the spotlight

The share of the EU's budget for Europe's Common Agriculture Policy (CAP) has been cut from 75% in 1985 to around 40% today. The number of farms however has doubled with the accession of the 12 new EU countries and the CAP faces new challenges regarding climate change and the economic crisis. MEPs discussed its future on 12 April with Agriculture Commissioner Dacian Ciolos.The CAP was reformed in 2003 and a subsequent "Health Check" performed in 2008. It was modernised by removing production restrictions and equipping it to face new challenges such as climate change and protecting biodiversity. Under the Lisbon treaty agriculture falls under co-decision and MEPs have gained power over the agriculture budget. MEPs will decide, together with the European Union governments, on the future course of the policy. Attention is now shifting to food security, with world demand for food expected to double by 2050 according to the UN's Food and Agriculture Organisation. The EP will express its views by next summer, just before the European Commission is due to present its proposals.

Source: European Parliament