EU Commissioner Gives Early Insight on Budget Package

By Agra Europe, PRNE
Thursday, June 23, 2011

LONDON, June 24, 2011 -

The share of the European Union budget which is spent on
agriculture under the bloc’s Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) is
likely to fall proportionately over the next decade, as other areas
of policy are prioritised.

But this may not necessarily translate into a cut in the budget
in absolute terms when the European Commission’s proposals for a
‘financial framework’ for the EU for the period 2014 - 2020 are

This was the claim made this week by EU Budget Commissioner
Janusz Lewandowski, who gave Agra Europe an exclusive
insight into the shape of the package which is set to be unveiled
in Brussels next week.

“In order to find better financing for immigration, for research
and development, for energy networks, energy security, climate
change, we have to modify the proportions of the EU budget. That is
why I believe the share of agriculture in the EU budget should keep
its decreasing trend,” Lewandowski said.

Nonetheless, he promised that the Commission would aim for
“evolution rather than revolution”.

Budget Commissioner Janusz Lewandowski told Agra Europe
that it was “not at all” the case that P2 agri-environmental
funding would be sacrificed as green imperatives are shifted into
Pillar One.

And he also promised that warnings by some environmental
pressure groups that the Commission was poised to slash or even
abolish funding for agri-environmental schemes - under the
so-called “Second Pillar” of the CAP - were completely without

The EU has been under acute pressure in many quarters to scale
back its spending on EU policies in 2014 - 2020, in light of the
current difficult economic climate.

But the EU budget chief pointed out to Agra Europe that
23 of the EU’s 27 member states had increased their national
budgets this year.

“Several governments are pressing the EU to freeze spending
while keeping asking more from Brussels“, he commented.

Lewandowski also hinted that the Commission would look at new
and fairer systems for financing the EU, with ideas such as a C02
tax, an aviation levy, or a tax on the financial sector having been
floated. But he said any such new measures would operate alongside
the traditional system of direct contributions by national
governments, not instead of them.

He also pointed out that any kind of new EU levy would, under EU
rules, have to be agreed unanimously by all 27 member states.

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

For further information and/or an interview with the editor of Agra, please contact: kirstin.stocker at, +44(0)7716-756-453

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