Reform of the CAP

European Parliament Agricultural spending accounts for 41% of the European Union’s annual budget and has been at the heart of EU policy since the very start of the European co-operation project. As the European Parliament, European Commission and member states get ready to haggle over the EU’s long-term budget, we look into the role of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) in the so-called Multiannual Financial Framework for 2013-2020.

The last revision of the CAP dates from 2003 but following the accession of 12 new EU countries, it is clear that the EU’s agricultural policy must be adapted to face new challenges.

Among the issues to be tackled are: a fairer distribution of money between old and new member states, the stimulation of greener farming, the guarantee of fair prices for farmers and how best to compete in the global market.

As the discussion gets underway and ahead of proposals from the Commission in the Autumn, the EP’s Agriculture Committee said a future CAP must be equipped to provide food security and environmental protection, create new jobs and provide renewable energy.

When adopting a report on 25 May, the Committee said the EU farm budget should be left unchanged so that farmers have a reasonable incentive to meet these new challenges.

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