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Thursday, 05 April 2012

CAP reform is 'urgently needed'

According to Alan Matthews, Professor of Trinity College in Dublin, making the EU's Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) more sustainable will be vital for environmental as well as economic reasons. During the presentation of his report to the EP’s Agricultural Committee, Professor  Matthews stressed that the reform is urgently needed.  He analysed positive, but as well weak points of the Commission's proposal and said that the reform is urgently needed. 
Professor Matthews examined the proposal's impact and researched possible alternatives. He highlighted several positive elements, such as it not involving additional costs, so there was no need to postpone action on it. The plan would define and fund mandatory green standards for the whole of the EU. Ecological focus areas would help to preserve biodiversity and quality, while targeted measures should be pursued, even if some member states would benefit more from them than others.
However, professor Matthews said there were still questions that needed answering, such as would the greening scheme be mandatory for farmers. The proposal indicates there will be two payments: one for green issues and one for general farming support. Why are there two payments? Professor Matthews also said more money should be made available, for example the green aspects could be covered by the EU's long-term budget. He also questioned whether it would be fair as organic farmers are already green by definition.
Together with the Council, the European Parliament will have to approve the proposal. The agricultural committee, which is responsible for drafting a recommendation to MEPs, will discuss the plan again on 27 March. Many MEPs have said there can be no final vote on the reform package without final figures of the EU's long-term budget for 2014-2020.
Source: European Parliament

Source: European Parliament