Some Danish colleagues told me recently that the Danish Parliament on 30 May last unanimously passed a resolution requiring the Danish government to propose a strategy for how it would actively work for the elimination of EU agricultural support. The strategy should include a timeframe and plan of activities which should take into account the planned CAP Health Check in 2008 and the review of the EU budget in 2009. The strategy should be presented to Parliament before the end of 2007.
The resolution was proposed by the Radical Left (Radicale Venstre) party which, despite its name, is one of the Danish centre parties though not part of the present government. The government parties were apparently not wildly enthusiastic, but came round in support when it became clear that there was a parliamentary majority in favour.
While the CAP has helped to modernise European agriculture in the past, the background report says that it is now time to modernise the CAP. In particular, there is a need to focus the EU budget on future challenges, with more funds for research and innovation and less for agricultural support. It makes clear that agricultural policy should continue to be a common EU policy, and that it is important to avoid that EU support is simply replaced by national support.
The resolution specifies that the Ministry of Agriculture and Food should organise a number of thematic meetings over the next six months, leading up to an international conference in Denmark at the beginning of December 2007 with the objective of preparing a strategy for how Denmark can secure the broadest possible support among other EU members for its position that agricultural support should be phased out.