Court of Auditors’ report on cross compliance is damning

It’s no wonder that the Commission suppressed the Court of Auditors report on cross compliance for as long as it could – the report is damning and undermines the Commission’s case for the legitimacy of EU farm subsidies.

Speaking in 2005, Agriculture Commissioner Mariann Fischer Boel explained how she sees cross compliance in relation nearly 40 billion euros of public expenditure on payments to farmers:

“I would emphasise that decoupled payments are not “money for nothing”. To get the cheque in the post, a farmer has to respect a demanding range of standards related to the environment and animal welfare. We call this system “cross-compliance”.”

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Court of Auditors' report on cross compliance is damning

It’s no wonder that the Commission suppressed the Court of Auditors report on cross compliance for as long as it could – the report is damning and undermines the Commission’s case for the legitimacy of EU farm subsidies.
Speaking in 2005, Agriculture Commissioner Mariann Fischer Boel explained how she sees cross compliance in relation nearly 40 billion euros of public expenditure on payments to farmers:

“I would emphasise that decoupled payments are not “money for nothing”. To get the cheque in the post, a farmer has to respect a demanding range of standards related to the environment and animal welfare. We call this system “cross-compliance”.”

Read the rest

Fischer Boel in the European Parliament

Mariann Fischer Boel attended the plenary debate on the CAP health check in the European Parliament earlier today. There is little to report from the debate – most of the contributions were bland and reflected the general desire of the European Parliament to water down the Commission’s reform proposals. Neil Parish MEP called for the pace of reform to continue but it was Brian Simpson MEP who made the most powerful dissenting speech, ripping into the Parliament’s draft report, written by Luis Manuel Capoulas Santos MEP. Mr Simpson concluded that

“Your position, Commissioner, on compulsory modulation, is right. Your position on decoupling is right.

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Manna from heaven? CAP ‘spare change’ to boost developing country farmers

Surging prices for agricultural commodities means that the EU spends much less on the traditional ‘market measures’ of the CAP such as intervention buying when prices fall below a target price, export subsidies and private storage aid for unsold surpluses. Last year the EU decided to allocate some of this underspend to the Galileo space programme. This year, the proposal is to channel the money to farmers in developing countries who currently suffer from very low productivity.… Read the rest

Manna from heaven? CAP 'spare change' to boost developing country farmers

Surging prices for agricultural commodities means that the EU spends much less on the traditional ‘market measures’ of the CAP such as intervention buying when prices fall below a target price, export subsidies and private storage aid for unsold surpluses. Last year the EU decided to allocate some of this underspend to the Galileo space programme. This year, the proposal is to channel the money to farmers in developing countries who currently suffer from very low productivity.… Read the rest

Dutch farmers get most subsidy per hectare

One proposal in the Commission’s health check communication of 20 November 2007 is that the member states which still allocate farm subsidies on the basis of historic entitlements should move to the area average system in which allocations are the same across all hectares in a given geographical region. But it looks as though this change will be optional, according to a speech made by Commissioner Fischer Boel in Ireland on 29 January. Moreover, the flat rate system does nothing to address the striking inequalities between member states, which shows that on average, Dutch farmers get €1299 per hectare, while Portuguese farmers get just €88.… Read the rest

Commission drops plan to reduce 'fat cat' farm subsidies

Top Commission officials have confirmed that in the face of opposition from four member states (Czech Republic, Germany, Slovakia and the UK) as well as many farm unions, Mariann Fischer Boel has dropped plans to cut the very largest farm subsidy payments by 45 per cent. The plan, which would have affected an estimated 23,000 farms that receive in excess of €300,000 a year, a list which is dominated by Europe’s wealthiest landowners such as the Duke of Westminster, Prince Albert of Monaco and the Crown Prince of Liechtenstein. … Read the rest

Commission drops plan to reduce ‘fat cat’ farm subsidies

Top Commission officials have confirmed that in the face of opposition from four member states (Czech Republic, Germany, Slovakia and the UK) as well as many farm unions, Mariann Fischer Boel has dropped plans to cut the very largest farm subsidy payments by 45 per cent. The plan, which would have affected an estimated 23,000 farms that receive in excess of €300,000 a year, a list which is dominated by Europe’s wealthiest landowners such as the Duke of Westminster, Prince Albert of Monaco and the Crown Prince of Liechtenstein. … Read the rest