Back to the CAP's future: An interest- or evidence-based policy?

In May 2016, at an informal AGRIFISH Council meeting, the Dutch Presidency will discuss the CAP post-2020. A mere 2.5 years after the last reform (finalised in December 2013) and just after the first execution of the new First Pillar payments and Rural Development Programme schemes in 2015, a new round of discussions about the rationale, goals, measures and impacts, of the CAP is already beginning; in effect, a new CAP reform.

Entering the first phase of reform, we may assume that the formation of political decisions and new legislation will take place in familiar stages. In the first stage, everything goes; it is marked by diverse and opposing opinions of Member States, think-tanks, interest groups and individuals.… Read the rest

Agriculture in the debate over Brexit

The European Council meets this Thursday in the hope that it will agree on a package of measures that will satisfy the UK’s demand for a renegotiation of its relationship with the EU. The details of the package and the main stumbling blocks are spelled out in the Council President Donald Tusk’s invitation to leaders to the Council meeting. The mood music leading up to the summit meeting is constantly changing. Whether this is a careful choreography to persuade voters back home that what will be achieved is a significant deal, or whether the continuing objections will derail a deal will be clearer by the end of this week.… Read the rest