COMAGRI rapporteur’s draft amendments to Omnibus Regulation

The COMAGRI rapporteur on the agricultural articles of the Omnibus Regulation Paolo de Castro (the other proposed co-rapporteur Albert Dess having at least temporarily dropped out of sight) has now circulated his Draft Opinion containing proposed amendments to the Committee to be debated later this month. The Omnibus Regulation (which is actually a proposal for a Regulation on the financial rules applicable to the general budget of the Union but as well amends a number of sectoral regulations) is the first opportunity to make changes to the CAP basic acts since the 2013 CAP reform was concluded.
In this previous post, I reported on the contributions made during the first debate on the Omnibus Regulation in COMAGRI in December last year.… Read the rest

COMAGRI Chair calls for maintenance of CAP budget in real terms

Paolo De Castro, Chair of the European Parliament’s Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development (COMAGRI), is also the rapporteur for the COMAGRI opinion on the Commission’s proposal for a new MFF regulation. His draft report circulated last month is a trenchant call for additional money for farmers and greater flexibility in how it can be spent.

While the rapporteur’s draft has yet to be discussed by COMAGRI, it is likely to be approved as it builds on previous Parliament reports and resolutions. The COMAGRI opinion is a set of suggestions to the Budget Committee which has the ultimate responsibility for drafting the Parliament’s view on whether to consent to the Council’s (and, ultimately, the European Council’s) decision on the MFF ceilings in the 2014-2020 period.… Read the rest

CAP Reform Conversations: Paolo De Castro MEP

In the first of a series of video conversations with leading figures in the debate over the future of the CAP, Jack Thurston talks to Paolo De Castro MEP, chair of the parliament’s Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development and a former two-term Italian agriculture minister and professor of agricultural economics.

De Castro explains that he has always regarded himself as a CAP reformer and sets out his vision for a reshaping of the EU’s farm subsidy system. He advocates a shift to a basic flat rate aid payment to farmers, plus additional funds to be allocated at the discretion of member states.… Read the rest