Watching the videostream of the Agricultural Council’s greening debate held earlier this week was a rather depressing experience. There is something profoundly wrong with a decision-making system where food and agricultural policy is determined solely by agricultural ministers who speak on behalf of their farmers only, with only the Commission present to even vaguely represent [...]
It seems that everyone wants to spend more and more without questioning the effectiveness of spending.
European Council leaders fail to agree Van Rompuy’s second MFF proposal which reinstated a large share of the CAP Pillar 1 reductions previously suggested.
The European Council of Young Farmers (CEJA) has recently launched a campaign “Future Food Farmers”, calling for generational renewal in the European agriculture.
Further cuts in agricultural budget proposed in Van Rompuy’s MFF proposal for the European Council.
The US Farm Bill debate has important consequences for the EU. But it should not be a source of inspiration for the MEPs…
David Barnes is the Scottish Government’s Deputy Director for Agriculture and Rural Development. He sits with his Minister around the Council of Agricultural Ministers’ table as the negotiations on the shape of the CAP2020 take place and, more interestingly, he blogs about it. His blog gives an insider’s view and a personal perspective on what [...]
New European Parliament timetable for CAP reform decisions puts 2014 implementation in doubt.
Agricultural spending escapes lightly in new revision of the MFF negotiating box which shows where budget reductions in the 2014-2020 would fall.
Agricultural Ministers continued to grind through their discussions on CAP2020 issues under the Cypriot Presidency at the Agricultural Council meeting on 22 and 23 October earlier this week.
A recent conference organised in the European Parliament brought agroforestry to the heart of the discussion on the CAP reform.
COPA-COGECA comes out with new ideas on greening but they help little to tackle its fundamental problem.
Absence of figures in the MFF negotiating box as the endgame approaches suggests governments not yet ready for the necessary compromises.
OECD figures show a continued slight fall in EU transfers to farmers as measured by the Producer Support Estimate indicator.
New paper provides useful summary of the CAP greening debate to date.
Cyprus Presidency recognises for first time that Commission’s proposed CAP budget is unrealistic.
Links to the COMAGRI amendments to the Commission’s draft regulations on CAP post 2013.
Data visualisation software from Google helps to see trends in agricultural data.
Food waste is now a hotly discussed issue, but recent studies greatly overstate the size of the problem and the extent to which reducing food waste would help the world’s hungry.
Three recent presentations summarise the state of the CAP reform debate at this point.
Draft COMAGRI report calls to maintain CAP spending in real terms in the 2014-2020 MFF period..
Only limited progress has been made in narrowing the divergences of view on the EU’s medium-term financial framework. Time is running out and the stakes are high.
The CAP is partially justified because of its contribution to ‘viable rural communities’ but the relationship between agriculture and non-agricultural development is as likely to be competitive as complementary.
Does the ‘experience economy’ in which consumers pay premium prices for products and services that provide additional intangible ‘experiences’ constitute a viable growth path for European agriculture?
It seems that the New Member States want to further water down the original proposals of the Commission.
What are we to make of the findings in the latest Eurobarometer survey of EU public opinion on Europeans’ attitudes to their own food security?
A variety of estimates of the level of farm support circulate. Many of them rely on creative accounting. For example, during the recent farm bill debate in the US Senate on C-Span television, a Senator claimed that the EU subsidized its farmers seventeen times more than the US, quoting as “evidence” that farm subsidies accounted [...]
The CAP budget negotiations have started to heat up, negotiators have formed the clubs of like-minded countries. Also this time negotiations are mostly a (gun)fight for preserving or improving the net position of Member States.
The EU’s attempts to protect livestock farmers during the 2007-08 price spike helped to destablise world grain prices for poor country consumers.
Despite the hot summer across Europe, the previous weeks were quite busy in Brussels. On June 18th and 19th 2012, the European Parliament’s Agricultural Committee Rapporteurs presented their four draft reports on the reform on the Common Agricultural Policy, while one week on, on June 25th, these draft plans were confronted with national interests (based [...]
The design of co-financing rates will influence total public spending on Pillar 2 measures in the next programming period.
Links to a recent paper and report I have written on CAP greening
Attempts to water down the mandatory spending limits on agri-environment-climate measures should be resisted.
20 years have passed since the Earth Summit was organised in Rio de Janeiro in 1992. The United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (UNCSD) will also be held in Rio this week and the apparent question comes what has happened in 20 years time. Almost nothing, many argue, as global sustainability is more on the [...]
Michel Dantin’s draft COMAGRI report on the single Common Market Organisation regulation would allow producer organisations greater powers to manage supply particularly in crisis situations.
The Danish Presidency has made some progress in narrowing the differences in Council on the CAP negotiating texts.
The Capoulas Santos draft rapporteur’s report accepts the broad lines of the Commission’s proposal – greater coordination with other structural funds, abolition of the axes, more encouragement for innovation, inclusion of support for risk management – and concentrates on fine tuning some of its specific elements.
The dazzling opening ceremony of the 2008 Beijing Olympics was a triumph of discipline, choreography, stagecraft. London will host the games later this summer and it was announced today that the 2012 opening ceremony will take an altogether different, gentler approach. The 2012 Olympics will open with a pastoral representation of the countryside comprising a [...]
COMAGRI draft rapporteur’s report on direct payments addresses some of the concerns of Member States, but the overall environmental ambition likely to be delivered by this reform remains unclear.
The EU’s tariff regime for agri-food imports is highly discriminatory, intended to benefit developing countries in particular. But tariff barriers are still important for Southern Mediterrananean countries and South Africa.
The slowdown in total factor productivity growth in agriculture needs to be reversed, but there continues to be a lack of clarity about the Commission’s proposals and what they will mean in practice.
New tariff database allows assessment of EU agricultural protection in a global context.
The Commission’s proposal to make rural development funding conditional on macroeconomic good behaviour in the next MFF might not be a good idea.
Sugar producers and processers line up against sugar users in the debate on eliminating sugar quotas in 2015.
The MFF negotiating box dealing with CAP issues gives a good idea of the extent of the disagreements that must be bridged before a successful outcome.
The EU’s efforts to promote green growth in the food and agriculture sectors do not seem commensurate with the level of ambition required.
Latest evidence shows that negotiations on greening have moved to their second stage. Since 12 October 2011, numerous critiques have arisen regarding the greening proposals criticised as ineffective and overly-restrictive for farmers. As a response to these, the European Commission proposed making some farming practices ‘equivalent’ to the three greening measures last Tuesday. Practically, this [...]
New IEEP study shows the inappropriateness of mandating fixed and uniform management actions across the whole of the EU to achieve environmental goals. Existing entry-level agri-environment schemes in member states involve very diverse management practices which are often revised in the light of experience.
A Basic Payment Scheme (BPS) is about to replace the SPS and the SAPS from 2014, therefore payment entitlements obtained under SPS shall expire on 31 December 2013. Under the new BPS, entitlements will be allocated to farmers who apply for it by 15 May 2014 and if he/she has either activated at least one [...]
Europe’s farmers are getting older because of fundamental economic and demographic factors. There is little that age-specific agricultural policies can do to reverse or even slow this trend.