Archive | July, 2008

Bureaucracy, greed and vanity threaten EU plan to help world’s poorest farmers

The European Commission has published its plans to divert up to a billion euros from CAP underspends to a new fund to help farmers in the developing world to increase productivity in the face of the world food crisis. Higher food prices have meant lower CAP expenditure on market measures such as intervention, storage and [...]

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The CAP’s ambiguous face to the outside world

The description of a Fortress Europe has often been applied to the CAP. But just as the CAP has undergone significant internal reform since the first faltering steps under Commissioner MacSharry in 1992, there have also been substantial changes to the CAP’s external trade regime. The EU still maintains high tariffs on specific agricultural imports, [...]

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European Parliament weighs in on health check

On Monday 14 July the European Parliament agriculture committee will discuss its response to the Commission’s legislative proposals for the CAP health check. The committee’s rapporteur is Luis Capoulos Santos, a Portuguese socialist MEP and former Portuguese Minister for Agriculture. His working document, suggests a number of changes to the Commission proposals, notably a hard [...]

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+++New WTO modalities paper is published+++

Full details at the WTO’s website. WTO Director General Pascal Lamy said: “These revised texts set the stage for a decisive moment in the Doha round. Ministers and other senior officials will soon arrive for intensive negotiations the week of 21 July. They need negotiating documents which are clear and precise as they consider the [...]

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French press for EU summit on CAP

French farm leaders have asked President Sarkozy to organise a Special Summit of EU heads of government on ‘EU ambitions for the agriculture and agri-food sectors.’ Perhaps the word ‘EU’ should be replaced by ‘French’.

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US farmers want out of conservation, environmentalists resist

The current high prices for arable crops mean that farmers in the US and Europe are reconsidering whether putting their land into government-financed conservation schemes is such a good idea financially. The EU is well on the way to releasing all its set aside land back into production, and in the US Congress is considering [...]

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New CAP spending figures show raw deal for new member states

New official figures on how the the €53.5 billion of EU expenditure on the Common Agricultural Policy was distributed in 2007 show just how raw a deal the new member states are getting under Pillar One of the CAP, which still accounts for four fifths of the total CAP budget. The figures are presented in [...]

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EU wrong to get involved in provision of free fruit and vegetables

Yesterday, the Agriculture and Rural Development Commissioner announced an EU-wide scheme to provide free fruit and vegetables to school children between the ages of 6 and 10. The purpose of the scheme is to encourage more healthy eating habits among children as a contribution to the campaign to fight the obesity epidemic which is storing [...]

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Pressure grows to drop EU biofuels targets

Three new reports published this week have called on the EU to drop or severley scale back its biofuels targets. These latest interventiosn by the European Parliament Environment Committee, a study group commissioned by UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown and a leading Brussels-based think tank show that the tide has now firmly turned against the [...]

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Map Showing Intensity of Expenditure on the Agri-environment Measure Overlaid with the EEA/DG JRC Preliminary Map of HNV Farmland for the EU-27

Mapping the CAP 2: Expenditure & High Nature Value Farmland

In order to animate a transparent debate on the purpose, intensity and spatial distribution of CAP expenditure, a number of maps overlaying CAP expenditure data and high nature value farmland have been produced as part of a study recently completed by IEEP for the UK Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB).

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A CAP that Delivers for Biodiversity?

The vast majority of expenditure under the CAP continues to be directed to income support and is not explicitly targeted at responding to biodiversity, or other pressing environmental objectives. According to a new IEEP study for the UK Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) the distribution and allocation of CAP funding, and the uses [...]

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