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Monday, 08 October 2012

France fears EU may crop farming aid

The last working document published by the EU's Cypriot presidency has sparked fears in France that the new EU budget will slash direct subsidies to farmers, despite the country's firm opposition. October will mark the second year of formal negotiations for a new Common Agricultural Policy (CAP). France, the largest beneficiary of the CAP, has battled since the beginning for a budget identical to that of 2013 for each year of the period 2014-2020. The lack of clarity in recent budget negotiations had offered the country a ray of hope.
However, the Cypriot presidency is convinced that a reduction in the budget for subsidies is inevitable, presenting further challenges to agriculture, which currently receives the largest part of EU funds. The pressure on France is increasing, as negotiations continue. France could find allies among the member states from the 2004 enlargement, most of whom lack funds to modernise their agricultural industry. Changes to the EU budget would have repercussions in certain areas of the reform, including direct subsidies for environmental measures.
Source: EurActiv