The Dutch have a well-deserved reputation for straight talking and so it is with the Government’s new position paper on the future of the CAP. As the following paragraph shows, there is no ambiguity over where the Netherlands government stands on the great targeting debate:
In the long term – as described in the present document– there will no longer be any question from the Dutch point of view of generic support for agriculture but solely of targeted payments for promoting competitiveness and sustainability and for socially desirable performance. This approach means that a drastic change will be necessary over the next few years. The disappearance of generic income support and market measures will, after all, mean that the instruments that account for 95% of Dutch CAP receipts (some EUR 1.2 billion a year) will disappear. In their place, there will be a new range of instruments that will reward agriculture-related activities – in a transparent and accountable manner – which represent added value for society but are not rewarded by the market, or are not rewarded sufficiently.