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EU Budget Talks Will Define CAP - NFUS

Decision-makers across the EU are waiting with bated breath for EU Commissioners to announce how the EU budget – including that of the CAP - will be distributed from 2014-2020.

A meeting of the ‘College of Commissioners’, including Agriculture Commissioner Dacian Ciolos, is taking place today (Wednesday 29 June) to devise the EU’s ‘Multi-Annual Financial Framework’ (MFF), with the possibility of talks continuing until Thursday 30 June if discussions become protracted.

Ahead of the meeting, sources in Brussels indicated that Commissioner Ciolos would advocate that the CAP Budget over the next seven-year period be maintained at the current level of around €370 billion. In addition, approximately €20 billion should be found to cover Romania and Bulgaria’s entry to the payment system, the potential accession of Croatia, a compensation fund to mitigate against deleterious trade deals and unexpected crises, such as Mercosur trade talks and the damage caused to the horticultural sector by the recent German E. coli outbreak.

NFU Scotland’s President, Nigel Miller said:

“The result of today – and likely tomorrow’s – discussions will provide the basis for the next round of CAP because no matter which framework is designed to dispense the funds available, it will only make sense once we know how much money there is going to be in the pot!

“Each EU Commissioner has been given the opportunity to push for their portfolio ahead of these discussion and, given that we are in such straitened economic circumstances, it is easy to see why Commissioner Ciolos put forward a relatively conservative proposal i.e. asking for the status quo to be maintained for agriculture, with extra funds requested only to deal with expanding territories and especial circumstances. However, with 26 other EU Commission departments around the negotiating table, one can see that coming to a final decision will not be easy. Each Commissioner will have to defend his or her requests; the CAP is coming under increasing pressure to justify its level of spend, which has led, in part, to demands to ‘green’ it significantly.

“Just as Commissioner Ciolos argues for current CAP spend to be maintained, so too will NFUS argue for Scotland’s current level of payments to be upheld. NFUS is focusing intently on how Pillar I payments should be distributed and is currently consulting its membership widely on the matter; in addition, the Union will persist in increasing Scotland’s share of Pillar II funds as we have languished at the bottom of the EU’s rural development league for too long.”  

Ends

Contact Sarah Anderson on 0131 472 4108

 

Date Published:

News Article No.: 121/11


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