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Thursday, 07 February 2013

Europeans farmers to protect CAP budget

On the eve of the EU summit in Brussels (7-8 February) on the Union's 2014-2020 budget, some 400 representatives of European farm groups and cooperatives agreed a five-point declaration, warning EU leaders that decreasing the funding for the Common Agricultural Policy risks killing jobs and undermining food security.
Antónia Figueiredo, vice president to the Cogeca agricultural cooperatives group, added that farmers insist on maintaining farm spending, which reached €58.6 billion in 2012. “Having a budget a the current level is vital and crucial,” she said. Cuts of anywhere from €17 billion to €25.5 billion are now being considered, according to Farm representatives.
Farmers called on the European Parliament, which for the first time has direct say in EU spending, to fight cuts.
CAP takes up 40% of total EU spending, the EU’s largest single programme and an easy target of austerity advocates, including Britain and Germany. But big farm states like France and Poland are more wary of slashing farm support.
In 1986, the CAP accounted for 70% of European Community spending. Today, it is less than 40% and would fall further under reductions being considered by national leaders. CAP spending was €58.6 billion in 2012, a rise of nearly €1.3 billion from 2011. The main expenditures was €40.5 billion for direct payments to farmers.

Source: Euractiv