Voting on a draft own-initiative report by German MEP Albert Dess (European People’s Party), the committee said that the EU’s farm budget should be kept at least at its current level when the policy is reformed from 2014, “in order to meet the challenges of food security, environmental protection and climate change”. The CAP budget is currently worth €55 billion a year and amounts to 40% of the bloc’s total annual spending.
The committee further noted that CAP money should be distributed more fairly between member states and farmers. They demanded that in future “each EU country should receive a minimum percentage of EU average payments,” with direct payments reserved for “active farmers”, the definition of which is yet to be agreed upon.
The ‘old’ member states of the EU-15 currently receive more financial support per farmer than the newer member states, and some of the payments go to wealthy landowners who do not necessarily use their land for production.
MEPs also backed Commission proposals to introduce a ceiling on direct payments per farmer and suggested that the size, the employment record and the degree of environmental protection of each farm should be taken into account when deciding on payments.
- Europe Thinks Again About Food (ipsnews.net)
- Will EU subsidies be enough to encourage greener farming? (theecologist.org)
- Sustainable Agriculture (libraryeuroparl.wordpress.com)
- European ‘green’ agriculture plans could harm environment, report warns (environmenteng.wordpress.com)