Sunday

24th Oct 2021

MEPs blame governments for impasse on farm policy reform

  • €278 billion is meant to be spent on the EU's common agricultural policy (Photo: Andrew Stawarz)

Governments are putting at risk plans to reform the EU's common agriculture policy (CAP) by refusing to budget in negotiations, the European Parliament said Tuesday (4 June).

Italian Socialist deputy Paolo De Castro, who chairs the assembly's agriculture committee, warned that "if the current stalemate on essential elements of the reform continues, negotiations under the Irish presidency could collapse."

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Become an expert on Europe

Get instant access to all articles — and 20 years of archives. 14-day free trial.

... or subscribe as a group

EU lawmakers are attempting the first overhaul of the CAP since the ratification of the Lisbon Treaty which gave parliament equal powers with governments.

But governments are reluctant to move from their position that a total of €278 billion should be allocated to CAP spending in the next seven year EU budget framework, over 35 percent of the bloc's total spending.

Referring to this, De Castro commented that "council needs to accept that parliament has equal political power and we're offering maximum flexibility."

The parliament team added that they had to wait more than three months to be sent the figures for the breakdown of rural development funding agreed by governments in February.

The negotiations focus on four legislative files overhauling the CAP, ranging from direct subsidy payments to farmers and rural development, to the organisation of individual markets for agricultural products.

A total of 24 trialogue meetings between MEPs, ministers and the European Commission have already taken place since negotiations began in April, with further sessions expected every day this week next week. The impasse also raises the prospect of a last-minute deal, with one contact telling this website that "agriculture and fisheries guys like their long nights".

MEPs claim that an agreement needs to be reached before the end of the Irish EU Presidency on 30 June to allow the new regime to be put into law by January 2014, when the new EU budget cycle starts. Farming leaders have voiced concern that failure to reach a swift deal could lead to years of delay.

Luis Manuel Capoulas Santos, a Portuguese centre-left deputy, commented that member states were treating the February budget deal as "sacrosanct" and that there should be "no taboo issues" in the talks.

However, he indicated that the two parties were close to agreement on direct payments, small scale farming, and measures to increase environmental protection.

There is also disagreement on the amount of money that can be transferred between the direct farm payments and rural development headings. MEPs want to limit the flexibility to 10 percent transfer of the total envelope, while ministers would allow countries to switch up to 25 percent between the two pots.

An Irish Presidency source said there was "determination by everybody to reach an agreement," adding that "flexibility is the key word".

MEPs can unpick EU farm subsidies deal

Agreement on EU farm subsidies remains far from clear, after the European Commission said the European Parliament could unpick the deal reached last week at the EU budget summit

Agenda

Brussels to focus on social justice this WEEK

This week ministers will attempt to iron out differences with MEPs on the EU's future cohesion policy, while the EU commission will focus on social justice in the eurozone.

News in Brief

  1. Russia's anti-vax campaign backfired, EU says
  2. China angered as MEPs call for Taiwan talks
  3. Emissions from La Palma volcano reach Brussels
  4. Body of eighth victim of Belarus border-crisis found in river
  5. Report: Syrian bank fiddling currency to evade EU sanctions
  6. Nato adopts plan to counter new Russian threats
  7. Alleged killer of British MP 'felt affiliated' to IS
  8. Coronavirus: Belgium returns to 'red' zone

EU adds new 'dark red' zone to travel-restrictions map

The European Commission has proposed additional measures to limit non-essential travel within and to the European Union - amid fears over more transmissible mutations triggering a new surge in cases across the bloc.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Nordic Council of MinistersNew report reveals bad environmental habits
  2. Nordic Council of MinistersImproving the integration of young refugees
  3. Nordic Council of MinistersNATO Secretary General guest at the Session of the Nordic Council
  4. Nordic Council of MinistersCan you love whoever you want in care homes?
  5. Nordic Council of MinistersNineteen demands by Nordic young people to save biodiversity
  6. Nordic Council of MinistersSustainable public procurement is an effective way to achieve global goals

Latest News

  1. EU states want more Belarus sanctions
  2. Gas price spike exposes rift at EU summit
  3. Poland vows not to give into EU 'blackmail' at summit
  4. EU vows to uphold Paris climate ambition amid scientists' fears
  5. Commissions's new migration pact still seeking 'landing zone'
  6. Europe can't ignore Chinese encroachment in Ukraine
  7. Lithuania - where 'biodiversity funding' is cutting down trees
  8. Dutch lawyers take Frontex to EU court over pushbacks

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us