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Co-financing CAP Pillar 1 payments

After a couple of Brexit posts, it is time to return to the debate on the future of the CAP and its financing. Early last month, I wrote a post making the case for co-financing CAP Pillar 1 payments in the forthcoming MFF proposal from the Commission. I have since fine-tuned the arguments and the result has appeared as a policy brief published by the Swedish Institute for European Policy Studies.

From the summary:

The idea of national co-financing of the EU’s income support to farmers was introduced into the debate on the next Multi-Annual Financial Framework (MFF) in June 2017 in the Commission Reflection Paper on the Future of EU Finances.

Read the rest

Why national co-financing of CAP Pillar 1 payments is needed in the MFF

There are few things that unite Agriculture Ministers more than their rejection of the idea of national co-financing of CAP Pillar 1 (P1) spending. In their first public discussion of the Commission’s November 2017 Communication of the future of the CAP post 2020 at the AGRIFISH Council meeting on 29 January, various agriculture Ministers, including France and Poland, explicitly made clear their opposition to national co-financing (as has Spain as reported here).

In early February, the Commission circulated a Communication ahead of the forthcoming European Council meeting on 23 February outlining the implications of different choices with respect to EU expenditure and financing in the forthcoming Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF).… Read the rest

Co-financing rates in Pillar 2

The Agricultural Council meeting on 18 June held a discussion on the proposed rural development regulation in response to a Presidency questionnaire (the webcast of the Council discussion is here). One of the questions posed by the Presidency was:

Is the proposed provision concerning increased EAFRD contribution rates relevant for meeting the objectives of the rural development policy, or should alternative operations qualify to receive a higher rate of co-financing?

According to the minutes of the Council meeting:

Co-financing rates for rural development support are part of the negotiating box for the MFF (2014- 2020). Member states spoke in general terms of the need for a simple and targeted system for financing activities to meet the EU objectives for rural development.

Read the rest

Franco-German position on future of the CAP

This week the governments of France and Germany have published a short document setting out their common position on the future of the common agricultural policy. It makes for fairly light reading though the following points are worth remarking on:

– The common position endorses further moves towards greater market orientation in the CAP but suggests countervailing measures are needed “to buffer devastating effects of growing price volatility and market crises”.

– There is nothing concrete on the future budget of the CAP and it is stressed that “a final decision on all questions relating to finances will be made when decisions are made on all policies and the entire EU financial framework”.… Read the rest

Sarkozy and Cameron on collision course?

David Cameron, leader of a British Conservative Party that is well ahead in the opinion polls just weeks ahead of a General Election, has already ruffled feathers across La Manche, with reported jibes about the diminutive stature of French President Nicolas Sarkozy, who is reeling from personal life scandals and a drubbing in regional elections. The remarks provoked a reaction from Paris, which accused the British Opposion leader of lacking respect for the French Head of State.

Such a trifling spat may be just the start of a tricky Anglo-French relationship over the future of EU budget, in particular the €60 billion common agricultural policy and Britain’s special budget rebate.… Read the rest