New CAP spending figures show raw deal for new member states

New official figures on how the the €53.5 billion of EU expenditure on the Common Agricultural Policy was distributed in 2007 show just how raw a deal the new member states are getting under Pillar One of the CAP, which still accounts for four fifths of the total CAP budget.

The figures are presented in a novel interactive data visualisation below (you may like to play around with the settings for Bubble Size, Label and Colour.

Out of the €42.7 billion spent in Pillar 1, the NMS get just €2.6 billion (just 6 per cent). Of the €10.9 billion spent in Pillar 2, the NMS got 3.6 billion (33 per cent). Pillar 2 (rural development) gives a much more equitable distribution among all 27 EU member states than does Pillar 1 (direct aids and market interventions). The logic of this distribution should give cause for several New Member States to reconsider their current strategy of calling for a bigger share from Pillar 1, when the real gains are to be made by shifting money from Pillar 1 (where NMS get a very bad deal) to Pillar 2 (where they get a much better allocation).

Perhaps one reason for focussing on getting more out of Pillar 1 is that there is no co-financing requirement, so it is essentially ‘free money’ as far as member states are concerned. This could be a very good reason for considering introducing a measure of cofinancing to Pillar 1 for the next financial perspective.

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