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Thursday, 27 January 2011

The CAP towards 2020

The 3063rd Council meeting on Agriculture and Fisheries held in Brussels on 24 January 2011 held a second policy debate on the Commission communication The CAP towards 2020: Meeting the food, natural resources and territorial challenges of the future (16348/10). The debate, structured around a Presidency questionnaire (5205/11), focused on sustainable management of natural resources and climate action, which is the second of the three main objectives for the future CAP identified in the Commission communication. All member states acknowledged the general objective to develop a sustainable management of the European agriculture in the framework of the CAP reform. However some delegations agree with the Commission proposal to have the first pillar as the main element for the "greening" of the CAP, some others would prefer the environmental measures to be part of the second pillar and rural development. Delegations generally praise green growth through innovation and consider that precise measures would be needed to act to adapt and mitigate climate change reality. For many delegations, in order to this objective, the CAP will still need to provide some level of farm income support as well as a safety net of market measures to help farmers cope with crisis situations. Cap payments should also be seen as compensation for the higher standards which EU farmers have to fulfil compared to those applied in third countries. At the same time, the CAP needs to improve competitiveness of the agricultural sector, in particular by promoting innovation, research and training. The value share of the farm sector in the food chain will also need to be improved. Finally, delegations considered compensation for production difficulties in areas with natural constraints necessary to maintain farming activity throughout the EU and to preserve the diversity of agricultural landscapes.

Source: Council on Agriculture and Fisheries