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Tuesday, 19 June 2012

Differing views on CAP reform at the Council

At the 3176th Council meeting on Agriculture and Fisheries held in Luxembourg this week, ministers held an orientation debate on the proposal for a regulation for rural development within the framework of the CAP reform. Although member states broadly supported the principle that the CAP should significantly contribute to addressing the challenges concerning environment, biodiversity and climate change mitigation and adaptation, their opinions were divided on setting a threshold in recital 28 of the rural development proposal, where the Commission suggests, as a guideline that member states spend a minimum of 25% of the total contribution from the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD) to each rural development programme on climate change mitigation and adaptation and land management.
The Commission made it clear that this is not an obligation but an indication since there could be member states who will spend more and other who could spend less but still achieve the environmental objectives. Some delegations opposed a minimum requirement while others welcomed the proposal and suggested that a binding obligation be set for all Member States.
Some delegations even requested the percentage to be increased to 50%. A number of member states thought that its scope should be extended so as to include, among others, payments to Natura 2000, the water framework directive and forestry actions.

Source: Council of the EU