European Conservatives and Reformists Group agriculture spokesman James Nicholson MEP has spoken out against the final CAP agreement reached last night between national governments and MEPs.
The conclusion of the reform of the EU Common Agricultural Policy came in the wake of minimal concessions offered by national governments at the eleventh hour.
Last night’s meeting resolved the financial elements of the CAP reform. While the agreement staved off the threat from capping of farm payments which would have penalised larger, more efficient farms; it conceded a key point which will now illogically enable countries currently receiving above average payments to move fifteen percent of rural development money to direct payments for farmers.
Mr Nicholson comments:
“As this agreement stands, the Common Agricultural Policy is common in name only to EU Member States. Farmers from different countries will compete in the same marketplace but with widely varying levels of support from the EU.”
“The agreement fails to address the disparity which exists between Member States and does not right the inequities and payment disadvantages suffered by the new Member States.”
“A key aim should be to enable farmers to meet the demands of the market in terms of agricultural produce and foodstuff. This reform will however tie them up in red tape and render market demand a secondary consideration.”
“The CAP will be made more bureaucratic, complex and focused on the wrong priorities. The ECR has played a constructive role throughout these negotiations but at this stage and with this text in hand we will find it difficult to support the final agreement.”