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CAP Reform Agreement Possible by End of Year

25 October 2012

EU - The Agriculture and Fisheries Council has said that an agreement on the reform of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) is possible by the end of the year.

The Agriculture Ministers of the EU examined the Regulation proposal on direct payments, over two round table discussions at Council meetings this week. During the first round, the issue of internal approach on direct payments was debated, for which the European Commission suggests that Member States must achieve an even level of direct payments at a regional level by 2019.

“A direct payments system based completely on historical levels of payments cannot go on for ever, because it constitutes an obsolete model that needs to be reformed”, said the Minister of Agriculture, Natural Resources and the Environment of Cyprus, Mr Sofoclis Aletraris, after the conclusion of the meeting. According to the Cypriot minister, who chaired the meeting, the gradual implementation of the pace and methodology of the payments level was accepted by most of the Member States.

Support to young farmers

During the second round table discussion, the plan to support younger farmers through the first pillar was examined. The majority of the Member states highlighted the need for flexibility in supporting younger farmers, so the small number of farmers in the EU is increased in the near future. Additionally, a large number of Member States is in favour of the creation of a volunteer scheme, within the context of the first pillar, in parallel with the voluntary character of the second pillar.

During the meeting, the proposed Regulation for market organisation on agricultural products was also discussed. The ministers examined the obligatory recognition of Producer Associations and Producer Organisations. “I am glad to say that most of the delegations suggest that producers must have a more important role in the food chain”, the Cypriot minister added. On the issue of competitiveness rules, different views were expressed regarding the possibility of the existence of a dominant position in the market.

The chair of the AGRI-FISH Council concluded: “The meeting was very important because, according to the results of our discussions, the AGRI-FISH Council is expected to reach a partial general agreement on the reform of the Common Agricultural Policy before the end of the year."

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