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Ciolos Pledge That CAP on Track

Europe’s Agricultural Commissioner has reassured farming leaders that a deal on reform of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) is still on track for 2013 despite no deal on a European budget being achieved last week.

Commissioner Dacian Ciolos was addressing a meeting of COPA COGECA – the umbrella organisation for farming unions and co-operatives – in Brussels today (Friday, 30 November). In his presentation, Mr Ciolos indicated that a budget decision could happen in February 2013 that would allow a deal on CAP to be achieved when the Irish hold the EU presidency in the first six months of next year.

Mr Ciolos stated that if a decision on CAP is achieved within that window, it would allow the second half of 2013 to be used to work on implementation rules for the new CAP. Given the timeframe, Mr Ciolos envisages that 2014 will be a transition year and Member States will continue with existing CAP schemes until 2015.

On payment rates, Mr Ciolos said that there was a clear need to show movement on convergence within Member States and on controversial ‘greening’ measures, he added that flexibility in this area may be possible but a lower CAP budget would not result in a dilution of proposed greening measures.

Speaking from Brussels, NFU Scotland Chief Executive Scott Walker said:
“A deal on the budget remains critical to achieving an agreement on the future of the CAP.   Recognition that a transition period will be necessary, even if agreement on changes to the CAP is reached next year is welcome and recognises the difficulties of implementing the changes.

“It is essential that the Scottish Government is given sufficient time to ensure a smooth transition to the new payment scheme.  

“It is also clear that greening remains central to the Commissioner’s view of the future CAP. When he visited Scotland recently, we showed him the problems with the current proposals and discussed the flexibility we require for greening to be proportionate, pragmatic and deliverable in Scotland.

“We will continue to press our case with the European Commission, the European Parliament, Westminster and the Scottish Government on the changes that must be made to the greening proposals. Flexibility will be the key and it is welcoming that all sides are listening and appear to be in the mood to compromise.”  

Ends

Contact Bob Carruth on 0131 472 4006

Date Published:

News Article No.: 141/12


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