Wednesday

11th Dec 2019

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).

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Support quality EU news

Get instant access to all articles — and 20 years of archives. 30-day free trial.

... or join as a group

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.

Poland calls for overhaul of EU agricultural funding

Poland's top farm official has brandished the EU's common agricultural policy as "two-speed" and common "only in name", calling for a new system with reduced direct payments for farmers and increased money to help restructure the sector.

Farm subsidies open to public scrutiny

EU governments have started publishing the names and addresses of farmers receiving EU farm subsidies, as part of reforms to the bloc’s common agricultural policy.

News in Brief

  1. Hungary asked to apologise after council leak
  2. MEPs: Finnish budget proposal 'impossible to implement'
  3. EP committee supports 'Future of EU Conference'
  4. EU survey: climate change must be parliament's priority
  5. Zahradil resigns as rapporteur on EU-Vietnam trade deal
  6. Russia plans 'Arctic Air Defence" with S-400 missiles
  7. Belgium: King does another round of consultations
  8. Thousands protest Orban's theatre clampdown

Feature

Promises and doubts: Africa's free-trade adventure

The EU is hoping that a continent-wide free trade agreement in Africa will help lift millions out of poverty and help solve issues of security and migration. But its message of values and equal partnership do not resonate with everyone.

Opinion

Why von der Leyen must put rights at core of business

Ursula von der Leyen's in-tray must include those European executives on trial for systematic workplace harassment, the break-up of European slavery rings, and allegations of European companies' abuse in palm oil, including child labour, land grabs, and deforestation.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Nordic Council of Ministers40 years of experience have proven its point: Sustainable financing actually works
  2. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic and Baltic ministers paving the way for 5G in the region
  3. Nordic Council of MinistersEarmarked paternity leave – an effective way to change norms
  4. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic Climate Action Weeks in December
  5. UNESDAUNESDA welcomes Nicholas Hodac as new Director General
  6. Nordic Council of MinistersBrussels welcomes Nordic culture

Latest News

  1. Hungary quizzed over EU rules amid twitter row
  2. Spanish King meets party leaders to break deadlock
  3. EU alarmed by prospects of battle for Tripoli
  4. EU must manage climate and industry together
  5. Does Malta's Labour Party now belong in S&D?
  6. Green Deal targets pit Left against Right in parliament
  7. Human rights abusers to face future EU blacklists
  8. Zahradil 'conflict of interest' probe may flounder

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us