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Commission’s health check proposals leak again

This is the latest in a series of leaks of the Commission’s proposals for the health check, due on 20 May. The explanatory memorandum outlines the latest thinking on the various elements of the package including the issue of progressive modulation: a gradually rising level of compulsory modulation, with higher rates for recipients getting more than €100k, €200k and €300k. You can download it here (http://tinyurl.com/4p5h4p) and read for yourself. … Read the rest

Commission's health check proposals leak again

This is the latest in a series of leaks of the Commission’s proposals for the health check, due on 20 May. The explanatory memorandum outlines the latest thinking on the various elements of the package including the issue of progressive modulation: a gradually rising level of compulsory modulation, with higher rates for recipients getting more than €100k, €200k and €300k. You can download it here (http://tinyurl.com/4p5h4p) and read for yourself.… Read the rest

Well fancy that…

What a difference a change of ministerial portfolio makes! Back in 2006, Hilary Benn MP, Secretary of State for International Development, was strident in his criticisms of the CAP:

“Through the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP), two fifths of the EU budget goes on subsidies and support to Europe’s farmers who represent 5% of Europe’s population, and produce less than 2% of Europe’s output. Most is not spent in the poorer parts of Europe where it is needed. Most goes to the biggest farming companies and landowners, not small farmers.”

Times change, Prime Ministers come and go, and Hilary Benn is now Secretary of State at the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.… Read the rest

Farm unions split over payment limits

It should come as no surprise that the EU level farm union COPA-COGECA’s response to the Commission’s communication on the CAP health check is reminiscent of King Canute, trying to hold back the tide. What is very interesting, however, is that in important areas the response contains dissenting voices (or ‘reserves’) expressed by a handful of COPA-COGECA’s member groups.… Read the rest

Barnier et son 'B-Team' s'installent un camp de base à Bruxelles

With the Slovenian Presidency of the EU barely a month old, the French government is already limbering up for its defense of the CAP during the Health Check and the budget review when France takes the helm of the EU in the second half of 2008. Farms minister Michel Barnier is here in Brussels all this week along with his ‘B-Team’: a 22-strong crack unit of Paris-based diplomats and civil servants on a mission to familiarize themselves with EU institutions, places and faces and to plot with old allies in the battle against reform such as those reactionary dinosaurs at COPA-COGECA and their more youthful offspring.… Read the rest

Barnier et son ‘B-Team’ s’installent un camp de base à Bruxelles

With the Slovenian Presidency of the EU barely a month old, the French government is already limbering up for its defense of the CAP during the Health Check and the budget review when France takes the helm of the EU in the second half of 2008. Farms minister Michel Barnier is here in Brussels all this week along with his ‘B-Team’: a 22-strong crack unit of Paris-based diplomats and civil servants on a mission to familiarize themselves with EU institutions, places and faces and to plot with old allies in the battle against reform such as those reactionary dinosaurs at COPA-COGECA and their more youthful offspring.… Read the rest