Commission's CAP Health Check proposals leaked

The Commission’s draft proposals for the CAP Health Check due to be officially released in November have now been widely leaked in the agricultural press (see the UK Farmers Guardian for one summary).
Much initial reaction has focused on the Commission’s renewed attempt to introduce a cap on the Single Farm Payment amount which an individual farmer can receive. Farmers receiving between €100,000 and €200,000 would face a 10% cut, between €200,000 and €300,000, a 25% cut and over €300,000, a 45% cut.
In the longer run, however, the proposals to move towards a standardised uniform, area-based system for calculating Single Payments from 2009, to eliminate partial coupling of arable payments, as well as to increase the compulsory modulation percentage from 5 to 13% by 2013 are likely to have greater significance for farmers and the direct payments system.

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Commission’s CAP Health Check proposals leaked

The Commission’s draft proposals for the CAP Health Check due to be officially released in November have now been widely leaked in the agricultural press (see the UK Farmers Guardian for one summary).

Much initial reaction has focused on the Commission’s renewed attempt to introduce a cap on the Single Farm Payment amount which an individual farmer can receive. Farmers receiving between €100,000 and €200,000 would face a 10% cut, between €200,000 and €300,000, a 25% cut and over €300,000, a 45% cut.

In the longer run, however, the proposals to move towards a standardised uniform, area-based system for calculating Single Payments from 2009, to eliminate partial coupling of arable payments, as well as to increase the compulsory modulation percentage from 5 to 13% by 2013 are likely to have greater significance for farmers and the direct payments system.

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Council agrees reform of the sugar reform

The Council agreed yesterday the Commission’s proposals to improve the attractiveness of the sugar industry restructuring scheme in order to meet the Commission’s objective of a reduction in 6 million tonnes of sugar quota by the end of the four year transition period 2006-2010 for the current EU sugar reform. As noted in a previous post, this reform target had been threatened by a much lower renunciation of quota in Year 2 of the reform than the Commission had assumed.

The key elements of the ‘reform of the reform’ are

  • The percentage of the restructuring aid to processors which is to be given to growers and processors is fixed at 10 percent, with an additional top-up payment to growers of €237.50 per tonne of quota renounced, payable retrospectively.
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Why farmers in the New Member States love the CAP

Jerzy Wilkin of Warsaw University in a recent paper has summarised the agricultural experience in the New Member States (NMS) under the CAP since they joined the EU in 2004. One of the points he highlights is the change in attitudes among farmers to the EU particularly in Poland, the largest of the New Member States. Although ex ante studies had suggested significant gains to agriculture as a result of accession, farmers were generally fearful and negative towards membership prior to 2004. Three years later, the situation is transformed. The share of Polish farmers supporting Poland’s accession to the EU has risen from 23% in 1999, to 38% in 2002, to 66% in 2003 and to 72% in 2005.

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Fischer Boel seduced by food security rhetoric

Experts on agricultural policy are often asked why the ‘farm lobby’ has been so successful although, of course, at EU level its influence has declined over time. In part this has been because it has been losing the debate and has often shown insufficient flexibility in responding to new framings of issues.

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CAP v GPS?

My farmsubsidy.org colleague Brigitte Alfter tells me that the Danish Liberal Party is proposing diverting CAP money to Galileo, the EU’s sat nav (Global Positioning Satellite) system.

If you had €55 billion what would you spend it on?

Update (20 September):

It looks as though the Danish Liberal Party are not the only ones eyeing up the CAP as a source of money for Galileo. Deutsche Welle reports that the Commission is now proposing that unspent CAP funds be used for the project. High commodity prices mean that the Commission has probably been spending less than expected on intervention and export subsidies, so there could well be some spare cash in the CAP pot.

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Plus ça change?

Sarko has done it again. In a brilliant media stunt, he has managed to grab the headlines and project a dynamic image of a changing France, in “rupture” with the Chirac era. I don’t want to ruin the party, and I certainly hope France is moving forward, but his speech is worth a closer look. Yes, he is promising a brand new CAP. But if you look at the few contents, it all sounds quite “déjà vue”.

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