Tuesday

27th Jun 2017

EU ministers hail 'watershed' agreement on farm policy

  • The common agricultural policy accounts for 40 percent of the EU budget. (Photo: freefotouk)

European agricultural ministers reached an agreement on Tuesday (19 March) to overhaul the EU’s common agricultural policy (CAP).

Ireland’s Simon Coveney, who chaired the two-day marathon talks that ended late Tuesday evening, hailed the agreement as a “watershed moment.”

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.

Ministers agreed to a principle of flexibility on how direct payments to farmers are distributed in member states.

Coveney said the scheme would lower the transfers of payments between farmers and “allows the Irish model of partial convergence to be included in the options available for the distribution of direct payments.”

The decision runs counter to the European Commission’s initial proposal of flat-rate payments per hectare in each region or member state, which aimed to create a more uniform distribution of funds across the Union.

The commission said such a scheme would be mandatory for all member states from 2019 onwards.

Member states decided instead for a partial convergence by 2019.

Ministers also inserted “additional flexibility” into the commission’s proposal, which ties 30 percent of direct payments to "greening."

“On greening, we have ensured that the payment may be a percentage of each farmer’s individual payment rather than a flat rate," said Coveney.

Farmers will have to claw back soil carbon output as part of the green element of the farm reform.

They will also be required to improve ecosystems, through a variety of means, including crop diversification.

The ministers proposed a progressive application of the crop diversification requirements. They also noted that exemptions to the requirement need to better clarified.

Final negotiations with the European Parliament and the European commission are expected in June.

US leaves Paris climate deal

Trump said Paris deal “punishes the United States”, even though treaty leaves it up to nations to determine own climate contribution.

Column / Crude World

Nord Stream 2: The elephant in the room

The European Commission should provide a thorough impact assessment of Nord Stream 2, a project that appears to go against all of its Energy Union objectives.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Malta EU 2017Conservation of Atlantic Tunas: International Measures Become EU Law
  2. European Healthy Lifestyle AllianceCan Statin Therapy Interfere With a Physically Active Lifestyle?
  3. EPSUOn Public Services Day, Stop Austerity! Workers Need a Pay Rise!
  4. EGBAOnline Gambling: The EU Court Rejects Closed Licensing Regimes In Member States
  5. World VisionFaces of Today, Leaders of Tomorrow: Join the Debate on Violence Against Girls - 29 June
  6. ECR GroupThe EU Must Better Protect Industry from Unfair Competition
  7. Malta EU 2017Better Protection for Workers From Cancer-Causing Substances
  8. EPSUAfter 9 Years of Austerity Europe's Public Sector Workers Deserve a Pay Rise!
  9. Dialogue PlatformGlobalised Religions and the Dialogue Imperative. Join the Debate!
  10. UNICEFEU Trust Fund Contribution to UNICEF's Syria Crisis Response Reaches Nearly €200 Million
  11. EUSEW17Bringing Buildings Into the Circular Economy. Discuss at EU Sustainable Energy Week
  12. European Healthy Lifestyle AllianceCan an Ideal Body Weight Lead to Premature Death?