The publication by the Commission of its second Draft Amending Budget (DAB No.2) to the EU’s 2015 budget this week reveals in stark figures the extent of the hiatus in CAP rural development spending caused by the delays in passing the relevant legislation and in approving rural development programmes. I first highlighted how approval of [...]
The slow pace of approval of new Rural Development Programmes means farmers will be unable to tap into new Pillar 2 funds until second half of next year and even longer for agri-environment-climate measures,
One of the innovations in rural development programming for the next multi-annual period is that there is meant to be much greater integration between EAFRD spending and spending through the other structural and investment funds. Trying to achieve this greater integration has been, and is, a fraught and time-consuming process, with implications for when member [...]
The Commission’s proposal to use objective criteria to allocate Pillar 2 funds was rejected by the European Council; have member states been more successful?
Much lip-service is paid to safeguarding the future of the family farm in Europe, but what exactly is a family farm and why does it need help?
Political agreement reached on CAP transition provisions for 2014.
France runs away in the new allocation of Pillar 2 rural development funds.
Presentation by Francesco Mantino discusses what we can expect in next rural development programmes following CAP reform.
Series of papers on the CAP reform process provide excellent overview of key issues
There has been much interest in the provenance of the figures on the allocation of rural development funding between member states which I discussed in this post earlier this week. In the post I said that these were figures circulated by Herman van Rompuy during the special European Council meeting to discuss the MFF on [...]
What new member states gain through convergence of Pillar 1 payments they could lose in Pillar 2 allocations under the latest Van Rompuy proposals.
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.
Attempts to water down the mandatory spending limits on agri-environment-climate measures should be resisted.
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.
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.
The future role for the European Innovation Partnership for agricultural productivity and sustainability
Information on how the new European Innovation Partnership for Agricultural Sustainability and Productivity will work is scarce, but initial soundings raise a question mark over how much it will really do to reverse the declining growth in agricultural productivity.
The EU’s rural development policies are excessively concentrated on agriculture and insufficiently integrated with other regional policies
The mid-term evaluation of the 2007-13 rural development programs is underway. Its results will provide crucial input for the post-2013 CAP. But the inherent limitations of evaluation should equally inform policy design.
Millions of pounds of taxpayers’ money intended for environmental projects is instead being used to prop up damaging farmning practices across Europe, according to a report Could Do Better compiled for the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds by Birdlife International. The report highlights some of the positive work being done in EU member [...]
It’s not uncommon to see reports of people queueing up all night for the latest iPhone, the next Star Wars movie or tickets to watch tennis at Wimbledon. But as I write, farmers in Northern Ireland are queueing outside for farm subsidies. The government in Northern Ireland has decided to hand out farm subsidies ‘on [...]
For most of its life, DG Agriculture has been concerned with managing agricultural markets, increasing farm productivity and guaranteeing European farmers a good income. In the 1990s, under the leadership of Commissioner Franz Fischler, it began paying more attention to broader economic development and environmental concerns in rural areas. This new interest led to the [...]
Agra Focus has been conducting a series of interviews on EU farm policy and one of the longest and most interesting to date is with Allan Buckwell. He is currently policy director with the (England and Wales) Country and Land Business Association, but is also chair of the policy committee run by the European Landowners [...]
In December 2006 European Union heads of government agreed a new Financial Regulation, the legal text that sets out the rules for the EU budget. The new Financial Regulation contains new requirements on the public disclosure of end beneficiaries of EU funds. The first significant fruits of the new budget transparency law are due by [...]
Czech agriculture minister Petr Gandalovic made an curious statement at the informal Agriculture Council meeting held earlier this week in the French Alps. Mr Gandalovic, who will assume the chairmanship of the Council under the Czech EU Presidency in the first half of 2009, told his colleagues: “The more specific you make the policy, the [...]
The current high prices for arable crops mean that farmers in the US and Europe are reconsidering whether putting their land into government-financed conservation schemes is such a good idea financially. The EU is well on the way to releasing all its set aside land back into production, and in the US Congress is considering [...]
New official figures on how the the €53.5 billion of EU expenditure on the Common Agricultural Policy was distributed in 2007 show just how raw a deal the new member states are getting under Pillar One of the CAP, which still accounts for four fifths of the total CAP budget. The figures are presented in [...]
In order to animate a transparent debate on the purpose, intensity and spatial distribution of CAP expenditure, a number of maps overlaying CAP expenditure data and high nature value farmland have been produced as part of a study recently completed by IEEP for the UK Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB).
The vast majority of expenditure under the CAP continues to be directed to income support and is not explicitly targeted at responding to biodiversity, or other pressing environmental objectives. According to a new IEEP study for the UK Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) the distribution and allocation of CAP funding, and the uses [...]
With the release yesterday of new figures on EU expenditure in 2007, the Commission has been busy spinning the line that farm subsidies no longer account for the biggest item of Brussels spending. Most news outlets have been swallowing this line without taking a closer look at the figures which show that a full 50 [...]
The Less Favoured Areas directive is one of the few examples of British influence on the design of the CAP. It was originally conceived as the Mountain Areas Directive with France pressing for a definition that would have excluded Britain’s hills and uplands. But the British emphasis on latitude rather than altitude won the day [...]
I have recently been working with others on an edited collection to be brought out from the Centre for Policy Studies in Brussels which re-visits the Fischler reforms of the CAP. The discussions held in relation to the book, which involved some people who knew Fischler’s work well, confirmed my view that he was someone [...]