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CAP Budget Should Not be Diminished, say MEPs

Climate change, competitiveness and food security crucial says Parliament.

Members of the European Parliament voted mostly in favour of Scottish MEP George Lyon’s resolution on the future of the Common Agricultural Policy post 2013 at a plenary session in Strasbourg today.  The main themes of the report relate to CAP budget; fair distribution of CAP funds; competitive agriculture; recognising EU food quality; protection against market and climactic fluctuations, and preservation of rural development funds.

Following the introduction of the Lisbon Treaty, the EU Commission and Council now have to take the European Parliament’s assertions fully into account when negotiations begin in earnest on CAP post 2013 with the publication this autumn of the Commission’s proposals.

The report adopted today states the following:

  • That the EU budget must at least be maintained from 2013.
  • Agricultural policy should not be renationalised.
  • Direct payments should be fully funded from the EU budget (and not match funded by Member State governments) in order to prevent internal market distortion.
  • Farmers should qualify for a top-up payment to reward their endeavours to mitigate against climate change.
  • Distribution of CAP funds should be fair to old and new Member States.
  • Food safety, environmental and animal welfare standards should be rewarded and criteria for imports from third countries should match these standards too.
  • Clearer information on country of origin is a priority.
  • Farmers should be given more power to deal with processors and retailers.
  • Rural Development is crucial in order to abate land abandonment and to attract young farmers into the industry.

NFU Scotland’s Policy Director, Scott Walker said:

“We welcome George Lyon’s report and the European Parliament’s decision to adopt it as the views of the European Parliament will be very important in shaping the CAP post 2013.

“While the pressure on the EU and its Member States’ budgets is greater than ever, it is also more important than ever that decision makers recognise the value of the CAP in providing EU citizens with a secure supply of affordable and safe food.  In order to achieve this, the level of the budget will be critical so it is good news that the Parliament has said that the CAP budget should be at least maintained at its current level.

“It is also good news that MEPs have recognised that it is unacceptable that the EU imports food from countries whose production standards fall short of our own and yet can undermine EU producers on price.  The report’s recommendation that this be resolved, along with clearer information to consumers should be welcomed by both farmers and consumers.

“Overall, the direction of the Lyon report will be supported by many farmers, but our members will now be waiting to see the details that are contained within the Commission’s proposals later this year.

“Scottish farmers are also in a better position than ever: NFUS a strong presence through its Brussels office and, crucially, a good relationship with the Scottish Government and already strong links with the new EU Agriculture Commissioner, Dacian Ciolos and UK Agriculture Minister, Jim Paice.  We are also lucky to have two MEPs on the European Parliament’s agriculture committee and will meet all these key players frequently to inform them what our members want and present them with solutions in the run up to CAP 2013.”

Ends

Contact Sarah Anderson on 0131 472 4108

 

 

 

Date Published:

News Article No.: 106/10


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