Archive | September, 2007

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 [...]

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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 [...]

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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 [...]

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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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My 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 [...]

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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. [...]

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Barroso: ‘Health Check’ could mean farm subsidy cuts

President of the European Commission Jose Manuel Barroso yesterday launched the Commission’s long-awaited review of the EU budget and looks to be squaring up for a fight with his Agriculture Commissioner Mariann Fischer Boel.

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Sarko to scrap the CAP?

Hyperactive French President Nicolas Sarkozy this week made a fundamental break with his predecessors, endorsing ‘radical reform’ of Europe’s Common Agricultural Policy, according to a report by Agence France Presse.

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Biofuels: a giant con-trick says the OECD

The EU’s headlong rush to convert enormous swathes of farmland into plantations of oilseed rape, corn and other crops grown for use as alternatives to fossil fuels is a giant con-trick, according to a report by the OECD that has been leaked to the Financial Times.

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Handy primer on CAP reform debate

The new issue of Food Ethics magazine is devoted to a discussion of CAP reform and the 2008 CAP Health Check. Alongside articles by CAP Health Check blogger Wyn Grant and me, you’ll find some useful analysis by many of the movers and shakers in the CAP debate, both in Brussels, the UK and elsewhere. [...]

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