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Keep an eye on coupled income support

Much attention is rightly focused on the changes that the co-legislature (Council  and Parliament) might make to the Commission’s proposed green architecture in the next iteration of the CAP (see contributions from Lakner and Pe’er and ARC2020 as well as my earlier post). There are also other elements in the proposed CAP framework with potentially important implications for production and environmental outcomes. In this post I focus on the proposals for one of the more production-distorting elements, namely, coupled income support.

The background

The conditions governing what is called ‘voluntary coupled support’ (VCS) in the current CAP and what the Commission has relabelled ‘coupled income support’ in its May 2018 proposal for the next CAP have been gradually relaxed in the current CAP period (I have previously described in earlier posts the changes made in the 2013 CAP reform and the changes introduced in the Omnibus Regulation).… Read the rest

Brakes removed from voluntary coupled support

I have previously written about the provisions for voluntary coupled support (VCS) in the 2013 CAP reform package in this blog post in 2015 entitled “Two steps forward, one step back: coupled payments in the CAP”. That post gives a historical overview of the gradual phasing out of coupled payments during the 2000s and the reversal of this process in the 2013 reform. In the recently-agreed Omnibus Agricultural Provisions Regulation (EU) 2017/2393, a significant relaxation of the conditions that Member States must meet in gaining approval for their VCS schemes was introduced. The negotiating history of this amendment is particularly opaque and sheds an interesting light on the secrecy and non-transparency of the trilogue process in which the Council and European Parliament, as co-legislators, try to reach agreement on legislative proposals.… Read the rest

AGRIFISH Council meeting underlines pressures to reverse CAP reform

Agricultural Ministers had a round table discussion on the future of the CAP at yesterday’s AGRIFISH Council meeting in Brussels. This was based on an orientation paper prepared by the Maltese Presidency.
The orientation paper identified six CAP priorities. These included the three previously identified by the Commissioner – building resilience, responding to environmental challenges, and generational renewal – and three others – investing in rural viability and vitality, maintaining a market orientation and strengthening farmers’ position in the food chain. Ministers were invited to answer the following questions:

    In your view, what would be most effective way to address the CAP priorities?
Read the rest