Tag Archives: reform

Cyprus Presidency progress report on CAP reform – direct payment controversies

Discussion on Cyprus Presidency CAP reform progress report at Agricultural Council this week will highlight divisions on internal convergence and greening in the direct payments regulation.

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European Parliament postpones vote on CAP reforms

New European Parliament timetable for CAP reform decisions puts 2014 implementation in doubt.

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October Agricultural Council continues CAP debate

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.

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Perspectives on the CAP2020 debate

Three recent presentations summarise the state of the CAP reform debate at this point.

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Court of Auditors wants clearer objectives for post-2013 CAP reform

Court criticises the Commission’s legislative proposals for failing to identify clear objectives which would allow the performance of CAP policies to be properly assessed.

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Basic Direct Payments for EU Farmers: The Proposal of the Commission of the EU

The EU Commission’s proposal to introduce changes in direct payments is based on the perception that a new rationale for these payments is needed. But the new justification for direct payments proposed by the Commission is not convincing as this post explains.

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The future for national envelopes and Member State flexibility in Pillar 1

National envelopes to be replaced by broader scope for recoupling in Commission’s draft Regulation on direct payments post 2013.

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Ciolos hearing at the House of Commons

On 13 January, Dacian Ciolos gave testimony to the UK Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee on CAP reform.

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Food for thought against food security concerns

In December 2010, food prices exceeded the dramatic peak they had reached during the global food crisis in 2007/08. But food security is a weak argument for a ‘strong’ CAP.

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French government fighting itself

French environment and agriculture ministers in public dust up over the future direction of the CAP

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French environment ministry coming out in favour of a green CAP

The French Ministry of the environment has spectacularly broken ranks with the Ministry of agriculture by publishing its vision ‘For a sustainable agricultural policy in 2013’. The 17-page document does not beat about the bush: it calls for a radical overhaul and puts down numbers. After stormy protests, it has been withdrawn from the Ministry webpage.

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For an Ambitious Reform of the Common Agricultural Policy

New declaration by agricultural economists criticizes policy-makers’ status quo bias.

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Budget rumbles in Brussels

This autumn the future of the EU budget will take political centre stage in Brussels

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A tale of two visions

The German government has recently announced its position on the post-2013 CAP – which is at loggerheads with the call for reforms published by its scientific advisory bodies.

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EP own-initiative report on the post-2013 CAP

The Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development is preparing a report on the post-2013 CAP. A recently published draft is alarming.

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The Socialist Revolution

The European Socialists & Democrats have published a position paper (A NEW CAP beyond 2013 and for a longer view) calling for radical changes: a focus on public goods and social objectives, the merging of all instruments into a single pillar, and the shedding of all rural development measures not directly related to agriculture.

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CAP Reform Conversations: Paolo De Castro MEP

Jack Thurston talks to Paolo De Castro MEP, chair of the parliament’s Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development.

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German call for reform of CAP payments

The German Council for Sustainable Development has issued a new call for reform of the CAP direct payments system, citing the damage done to the environment by intensive agriculture.

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ELO and BirdLife fire the starting gun

Nothing tells you that a big political debate is hotting up like the emergence of new alliances of odd bedfellows. Yesterday saw a major joint intervention from two of Europe’s biggest, most authoritative and well-connected players in EU agriculture policy.

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What does co-decision have in store?

How the European Parliament uses its new decision-making powers after the Lisbon Treaty will help define the future of the CAP.

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A new decade, a new CAP

Five leading European farming and environmental NGOs, who between them boast several million members, have jointly published a blueprint for a new Common Agricultural Policy. In an unusual and very modern step, they have published a draft proposal and opened it for consultation. They will produce a final version in 2010. The proposal, which runs [...]

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Paris Declaration on the Common Agricultural Policy

You can read here the agreed communiqué from the 22 countries which were invited by France to discuss the future of the CAP in Paris yesterday. The meeting itself was surrounded by some controversy given that 5 member states (UK, Sweden, Denmark, Netherlands and Malta) were not originally invited, although the UK did send along [...]

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G-21 an anti-reform bloc?

At various times in the history of the CAP, member states have formed informal groupings to address particular issues, e.g., ‘the Aachen Five’ and the agri-monetary system. The G-21, in effect led by France, is a much larger grouping which constitutes a qualified majority in the Council. It become the G-21 rather than the G-20 [...]

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Agricultural economists declare war on the CAP

I’ve always found the notion of ‘agricultural economists’ a curious one. As if the normal rules of economics don’t apply to agriculture and there’s need for a special discipline of agricultural economics. In universities agricultural economists are often housed in their own special departments, separate from the regular Economics department. I wonder if this alternate [...]

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One year after the budget review conference: What has happened with the CAP reform process?

Until recently, I have walked through Brussels with this grey-blue bag that all participants of the 2008 budget review conference received. In the meantime, it has fallen apart, and I don’t have anything to replace it. This is somewhat similar to the CAP & EU budget debate: the 2008 conference presenting the results of the [...]

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Do we need a “common” agricultural policy?

The final paragraph of Commissioner Fischer Boel’s valedictory leaflet is revealing and foreshadows the debate that has yet to surface about the future of the CAP after 2013, the end of the current financial perspective. Mrs Fischer Boel makes the case for maintaining a common European agriculture policy among the EU’s 27 member states, presumably [...]

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Franco-German combine to set future path of the CAP?

Euractiv reports on the creation of a new Franco-German working group to frame reform of the EU’s Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) after 2013. France has a new Agriculture Minister in Bruno Le Maire, who wasted no time in setting out his stall in meetings with Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso.

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The debate on the post-2013 CAP

The debate on the future of the CAP after 2013 has now started following the informal Farm Council in the Czech Republic earlier this month. Those who want to influence the debate have about twelve months before the Commission publishes a Communication (effectively a White Paper) on future policy in the summer/early autumn of next [...]

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What does France think?

France is Europe’s agricultural powerhouse and when it comes to the CAP, it is probably the single most influential member state. So what France thinks is of central importance to the future of EU farm policy. It is therefore good to see the publication of the latest of the national reform profile series at the [...]

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First results from Brno Informal Agricultural Council

The Czech Minister for Agriculture has issued a press release summarising the discussion at the informal agricultural council in Brno today. The subject was the future shape of a simplified system of direct payments and a more even distribution that would result in a fairer competitive environment on the single market. Even allowing for translation [...]

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Buckwell: blanket subsidies to continue after 2020

Pillar 1 subsidies are likely to continue after 2020, forecast Professor Allan Buckwell, the Policy Director of the Country Land and Business Association, in an interesting talk at the President’s Seminar of the Royal Agricultural Society of England (RASE) in London yesterday.

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UK farm unions call for a common EU agriculture policy

The four main farm unions of the United Kingdom today unveiled a joint manifesto aimed at the June elections to the European Parliament. The slim, 8 page document sets out a UK farmers’ agenda on a range of issues of concern. While the manifesto makes the case for lighter touch regulation of farming (e.g. on [...]

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Let’s get concrete and controversial!

Recently, I attended a conference of the British Land Use Policy Group (LUPG) on ‘Securing our Common Future through Environmentally Sustainable Land Management – Vision for the Future of the CAP post 2013′. The first speaker noted that ‘the challenge of the next months is to identify the questions for CAP reform’. Toward the end, [...]

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A chorus of despair

Earlier this week I was invited to take part in a round table discussion, as part of a major conference on the future of the CAP, organised by Birdlife/SEO and WWF. The conference began with a joint presentation by SEO and WWF of an interesting new proposal for CAP reform in Spain. The proposal envisages [...]

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Why CAP reform happened

The latest Journal of Common Market Studies (vol.47, 2, March 2009) contains an important article exploring the determinants of CAP reform. It is written by Alan Swinbank, a distinguished agricultural economist and a leading proponent of reform and Arlindo Cunha who was chair of the Agriculture Council in 1992 at the time of the MacSharry [...]

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Pressure building on Commission to postpone milk quota reform

If there was a jewel in the crown of the CAP health check deal agreed last November it was probably the decision to phase out milk quota between now and 2015, with a one per cent increase in quota each year. But this prize is now under threat as several powerful EU member states led [...]

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UK Tories on a crooked path to protectionism?

I realise that opposition politicians have to say all things to all persons and jump on any bandgwagon that’s going on, but I must say that I found an interview with Nick Herbert, the shadow Defra secretary, in Farmers Weekly a bit disappointing. It remains to be seen whether the MP for Arundel and South [...]

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Vision for the future of the CAP

The influential Land Use Policy Group will be launching their vision for the future of the CAP after 2013 in Brussels on March 30th. This will be an important event in the long-term effort to clarify thinking about future policy so that it delivers benefits to the environment and rural communities.

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Don’t watch this, take a look at that

You will be forgiven for wondering why things have been a little on the quiet side here at CAPHealthCheck.eu over the past couple of months. For my part, besides some intensive behind-the-scenes work at farmsubsidy.org and and exciting new EU budget transparency project that’s still under wraps, I’ve been blogging more on the EU budget [...]

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10 reasons why the Single Payment Scheme is politically unsustainable (part two)

Last week I posted five reasons why it is hard to justify spending 30 billion euros each year on the Single Payment Scheme. Here are five more reasons.

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Budget pressure on CAP

With the Health Check out of the way, it looks as if the medium-term future of the CAP is going to be strongly influenced by discussions of how the EU budget should be spent. This always raises the awkward question of the opportunity cost of spending large sums of money on subsidising farmers.

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Dairy quota row highlights industry divisions

Commissioner Mariann Fischer Boel’s proposal for five annual dairy quota increases of 1 per cent each, adopted unchanged by farm ministers, is under attack from two sides. The Commission believes that this is a sure sign that it has negotiated a fair middle path through a morass of conflicting objectives. A less charitable interpretation would [...]

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The Estonian vision

A charming young Estonian woman greeted me at the European Parliament yesterday when I went to give evidence to the Agriculture and Rural Development Committee (of which more in due course). Of broader significance Estonia is probably the only new member state with a clear concept of how the CAP should evolve. This is outlined [...]

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French CAP plan nixed by Council

Today’s meeting of the Agriculture Council witnessed the frequently irrestistable force of French attachment to the Common Agricultural Policy run into the occasionally immovable object of UK, Swedish and new member state desire for change. The result was that a much-trumpeted French vision paper for the future of the CAP beyond 2013 was roundly rejected. [...]

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20:20 vision

With the health check done and dusted, European agriculture policymakers turn to the bigger questions of the future of the CAP after the current EU financial perspective, which ends in 2013. Ever since the Chirac-Schroeder deal of 2002, which fixed the overall CAP budget and allocation of direct payments for the subsequent eleven years, there [...]

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Tangermann’s parting shot

Later today Stefan Tangermann will step down as Director of the OECD Trade and Agriculture Directorate, a post he has held since 2002. The OECD has a strict ‘retire-at-65′ rule and it may surprise some to learn that the tall and spritely German, invariably sporting one of his trademark bow-ties, has reached such an age. [...]

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Final health check compromise text

This detailed document does not yet appear to have been published on the Council or Commission websites. But you can download it here in Word format.

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Podcast: the inside story on the health check deal

Roger Waite, Editor of Agra Facts, gives the inside story on the all-night negotiations that led to a deal early this morning (20th November) on the health check of the CAP. He explains how the negotiations were handled, that the big winners were Italy, Germany and France and that at key moments there was intervention [...]

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So who voted for what?

Unanimity, like pregnancy, has a binary quality. A decision can’t be ‘virtually unanimous’. But this is just how French farms minister Michel Barnier described this morning’s final compromise agreement on the health check package. So which of the EU 27 member states were unable to acquiesce in the deal? My sources tell Roger Waite tells [...]

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Parliament’s health check recriminations begin

With the ink barely dry on the Council of Ministers’ final compromise deal on the health check, leading members of the European Parliament are laying into each other after a day of chaotic voting on the Parliament’s approach to the CAP. In a podcast interview yesterday, Paulo Casaca MEP (Socialist Group) told me that the [...]

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