Confidential Plans From Brussels Set to Shake up Europe's Notorious Common Agricultural Policy

By Agra Europe, PRNE
Tuesday, October 5, 2010

The System for Paying EU Subsidies to Farmers Across Europe is set for a Major Shake-Up Under Proposals Which are set to Come out of Brussels Over the Next Few Weeks.

LONDON, October 6, 2010 - Plans for a fundamental reform of the EU's notorious Common Agricultural
Policy (CAP) - obtained exclusively today (Wednesday, October 06, 2010) by
specialist agricultural policy newsletter Agra Europe - would create a single
level of payment per hectare of farmland in each EU member country.

"However, the draft European Commission document, which will be the
subject of fierce debate by European governments and MEPs over the next few
months, says nothing about the level of the payments to farmers - or how much
the new scheme would cost Europe's taxpayers," says Chris Horseman, Editorial
Director of Agra Europe.

The confidential proposals, which are due to be officially unveiled in
mid-November, are intended as the first step towards a new-look CAP for the
period 2014-2020. Parallel proposals are expected soon on the size of the EU
budget over the same period.

In 2010, the CAP is costing some EUR57.7 billion (GBP50.0bn), or about
41% of the total EU budget of EUR141.5bn (GBP122.8bn).

Agra Europe revealed that the Commission is aiming to top up the
flat-rate aid payments to farmers with a mandatory "green" supplement -
payable on condition that basic environmental standards are met.

Further top-ups could be payable to farmers in mountainous and other
'less-favoured' areas.

And the Commission is planning new legislation which would mean that
payments were made only to "active farmers" - depriving thousands of
non-agriculturally active landowners of the support they currently receive.

Meanwhile, the proposals also seek to partially even out the current wide
discrepancies between the level of payments to farmers in Eastern and Western
- a move which looks set to be one of the more politically
inflammatory aspects of the package.

Agra Europe has been an independent source of news, analysis and comment
on European agricultural policy since 1963. It is published by Informa Agra,
a division of Informa Business Information.

For further information and/or an interview with Chris Horseman, please contact: Kirstin Stocker at kirstin.stocker at or telephone: +44(0)7716756453

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