Archive | September, 2009

Back to butter mountains?

It’s a familar scenario: the milk price falls; farmers come out to the street; and the Commission starts to panic. Following a ‘milk strike’ across Europe, an emergency meeting is to be held by farm ministers on October 5th. Nineteen member states have signalled support for a Franco-German initiative for an aid package for dairy [...]

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Barroso CAP Vision: Motherhood & apple pie

Just as it’s hard to love Commission President José Manuel Barroso, it’s hard to loathe him. Maybe that’s why he’s the ultimate compromise candidate and has just secured a second five year term of office. President Barroso has just published political guidelines for the next Commission, setting out his stall for a ’2020 vision’ of [...]

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Do we need a “common” agricultural policy?

The final paragraph of Commissioner Fischer Boel’s valedictory leaflet is revealing and foreshadows the debate that has yet to surface about the future of the CAP after 2013, the end of the current financial perspective. Mrs Fischer Boel makes the case for maintaining a common European agriculture policy among the EU’s 27 member states, presumably [...]

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Fischer Boel valedictory leaflet

Agriculture Commissioner Mariann Fischer Boel has announced she’ll not seek a second term in office. Unlike predecessors Franz Fischler and Ray MacSharry there is no round of CAP reform named after her and perhaps it is to make up for this that the Commission has just published a new leaflet.

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Changes in GM feedstuffs rules on the way?

There now seems to be momentum building up to change EU rules on GM feedstuffs in order to assist the future of the pig and poultry industries in Europe, with the Commissioner Mariann Fischer Boel waxing eloquent on this issue on her blog last week after she raised the issue at the monthly Agricultural Council. [...]

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Informal meeting Agricultural Ministers in Sweden 14-15 September to discuss agriculture and climate change

The Swedes have chosen to highlight agriculture and climate change at the informal agricultural council meeting next week. The discussion will be built around three questions: 1. Climate change is of great concern for the future competitiveness of EU agriculture and this challenge is being dealt with at all levels. While the framework is set [...]

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Is EU agriculture carbon-efficient?

A relatively new argument being used to justify support for agricultural production in the EU is that reductions in EU food production would be made up by increases elsewhere where less efficient production systems exist and thus would result in a heavier carbon footprint. This raises the question whether this statement is factually correct and [...]

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New EP Ag committee line up

With co-decision on agricultural issues likely to come into force from next year, the European Parliament’s Agriculture Committee has assumed a new importance and there was plenty of competition for places. However, one unasnwered question is whether the Budget Committee will have a stronger influence on plenary voting patterns than the Ag committee.

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