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Commission report another step on road to CAP reform


19 Nov 2010


EU Priorities 2020
Agriculture & Food

George Lyon (Liberal Democrat, UK), ALDE Spokesman on Agriculture, has welcomed the European Commission’s report on the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) as another step on the long road to reform.

Mr Lyon, who wrote the European Parliament’s report on the future of the CAP that was overwhelmingly adopted in the summer, commented:
“The Commission’s paper is so widely drawn that nearly everyone will find something in it that appeals to them.
“It focuses on greening the direct payments through a top up payment, a fairer distribution of funding between Member States, making activity a condition of support payments, bringing to an end to historic payments, and moving some of the LFA support into pillar one.
“The Commissioner has taken on board many of the ideas in my report. However, while similar to the European Parliament’s position, the Commissioner’s report contains proposals that raise real concerns.
“We must make sure that his proposals to green part of direct payments system is based on incentives and not rules. They must be clearly targeted at sustainability and production efficiency otherwise we run the risk of making European agriculture uncompetitive.
“Clearly this is only the second step along a very difficult road to reform.  The task of taking this broad brush approach and focusing it on real measures that provide farmers with a viable future will not be easy.

“The real threat of big budget cuts still hang over the whole policy debate and the final decision on the budget will have a profound impact on the final outcome.”

Recalling key principles of liberal agriculture policy Britta Reimers, member of the German ALDE delegation, added:

"Reducing the bureaucratic burden on farmers, and increasing the competitiveness of European agriculture through education and the use of innovations in farming are the keys to an efficient Common Agriculture Policy post 2013. Farmers need entrepreneurial freedom to run successful businesses, which are essential to ensure food security and help to maintain prosperous rural areas."

Formal legislative proposals will be presented by the Commission in 2011.


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