A provisional agreement has now been reached on the 2015 EU budget between the Council and Parliament following their inability to reach an agreement on the Commission’s first draft budget proposal in November (read here the reactions to the deal of the Commission, of the Council and of the Parliament). In terms of the headline figures for overall EU spending, the agreement is closer to the Council’s position, particularly in terms of payment appropriations, an outcome which was predicted as a consequence of the Lisbon Treaty changes in a series of papers by Giacomo Benedetto of the University of London.
Rural development programming for the MFF period 2014-2020 seems to be a disaster zone, and it would be interesting to hear comments from those more directly involved in the process as to the reasons and implications of the huge delays which have built up.
At a recent Rural Development DG AGRI Civil Dialogue Group meeting, the Commission presented an update on the programming of the new Rural Development Programmes (RDPs) from which the table below is taken. It expects only 10 RDPs out of a total of 118 to be approved by the end of this year. Nearly all of the 118 RDPs have been submitted (2 are still outstanding), and the Commission has returned its observations on 75 of these (see table below).
Almost exactly a year ago the legislative bodies of the European Union accepted 4 new key Regulations that will determine the next period’s CAP. The Commission presented this reform, utilizing the label ‘Greening’, as a shift of paradigm and an introduction of certain other important changes in both the goals and the instruments of European agricultural policy. The essence of the new reform was to find a new justification for and mechanisms of agricultural policy. The reform, which took place in times of economic crisis, was accepted after the Lisbon treaty; as such it was characterized by a new form of legislation which equalized the roles of the European Parliament and Council as key legislators.