Monday

26th Sep 2016

MEPs can unpick EU farm subsidies deal

  • Farming subsidies will fall by 11 percent according to the EU budget deal (Photo: Andrew Stawarz)

Agreement on EU farm subsidies remains far from clear, after the European Commission Monday (11 February) said that the European Parliament could unpick the deal reached last week at the EU budget summit.

Leaders went away from the summit with figures detailing how much money they could expect to receive from Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) during the 2014-2020 period covered by the next multi-annual financial framework (MFF).

Dear EUobserver reader

Subscribe now for unrestricted access to EUobserver.

Sign up for 30 days' free trial, no obligation. Full subscription only 15 € / month or 150 € / year.

  1. Unlimited access on desktop and mobile
  2. All premium articles, analysis, commentary and investigations
  3. EUobserver archives

EUobserver is the only independent news media covering EU affairs in Brussels and all 28 member states.

♡ We value your support.

If you already have an account click here to login.

But Commission spokesman Roger Waite indicated that MEPs could derail the deal. Waite described the figures as "indicative" and "not legally binding", adding that a deal on CAP subsidies would "only finish when there is political agreement between the European Council and the European Parliament."

Although CAP spending suffered an 11 percent in last week's EU budget cut it was spared further cuts from those proposed by European Council President Herman van Rompuy in November.

With just over €373 billion, and €278 billion in direct subsidies, it remains the largest single area of spending by Brussels. Meanwhile, €85 billion has been allocated to Pillar two of the CAP which focuses on environmental protection.

Under the Lisbon treaty, the parliament has co-decision powers with government ministers on CAP reform. Last month, MEPs on the agriculture committee voted on four pieces of legislation to reform the CAP. The four files form part of the around 70 legislative acts covered by the MFF.

The committee also backed European Commission proposals to put a €300,000 cap on farm subsidies to Europe's wealthiest landowners, alongside drastic cuts in payments worth more than €150,000. For their part, leaders proposed that governments should be able to decide whether or not to impose the cap.

Talks on the reform of the CAP between MEPs and ministers remain at an early stage. and will now start in earnest in the coming weeks.

It is also far from clear that MEPs will back the €959.8 billion overall budget deal reached by EU leaders. Following the announcement of the deal, the leaders of the Parliament's four largest political groups signed a joint statement saying their groups "cannot accept today's deal in the European Council as it is" and adding that "the real negotiations will start now with the European Parliament."

The parliament is expected to vote on whether to accept the summit deal during its April plenary session in Strasbourg.

Investigation

Diesel cars still dirty, despite huge EU loans

The European Investment Bank lent billions to carmakers, in part to clean up diesel cars. But diesel cars are still dirty, prompting questions if the money was well spent.

EU redoubles attack on roaming charges

After an embarrassing U-turn last week, the EU commission has proposed to abolish roaming charges by June next year. Only "abusive" clients to pay.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. GoogleBringing Education to Refugees in Lebanon With the Clooney Foundation for Justice
  2. HuaweiAn Industry-leading ICT Solution Provider and Building a Better World
  3. World VisionUN Refugees Meeting a Wasted Opportunity to Improve the Lives of Millions of Children
  4. Belgrade Security ForumCan Democracy Survive Global Disorder?
  5. YouthProAktivEntrepreneurship, Proactivity, Innovation - Turn Ideas Into Action #IPS2016
  6. GoogleTrimming the Waste-Line: Weaving Circular Economy Principles Into Our Operations
  7. Crowdsourcing Week EuropeDon't Miss the Mega Conference to Master Crowdsourcing, Crowdfunding and Innovation! 10% Discount Code CSWEU16
  8. Martens CentreFighting Terrorism: Do we have what it takes? 26 September, Brussels
  9. ACCAKaras Report on Access to Finance for SMEs in a Capital Markets Union
  10. Centre Maurits Coppieters"I still believe we can change Europe" Said David Grosclaude
  11. World VisionThe Child Protection Index to be Launched in Brussels on 28 September 2016
  12. HuaweiDigital Transformation: Unleashing Europe’s Potential