MEPs back plans to reform EU agriculture

4 Απριλίου, 2019
MEPs back plans to reform EU agriculture

MEPs in committee voted Monday and Tuesday on farm policy reform plans including rules for direct payments and rural development and the common market organisation in agricultural products after 2020.

The first batch of proposals focussed on the new EU rules for common market organisation (CMO) in agricultural products after 2020.

MEPs said the current scheme, which grants aid to dairy farmers who voluntarily produce less in times of severe market imbalances in an effort to stabilise prices, should be extended to all sectors. If the situation does not improve, the Commission should be tasked with imposing a levy on all producers who increase their deliveries.

MEPs also want to extend current rules, which allow time-limited regulation of supply of geographically protected cheeses, hams and wines, to all other products that benefit from protected geographical indication (PGI) or protected designation of origin (PDO).

MEPs wanted the setting up of a single EU observatory for agricultural markets, that would focus on a wide range of sectors, including cereals, sugar, olive oil, fruits and vegetables, wine, milk and meat.

MEPs also want to widen the market safety net by allowing public intervention (a market management tool used when prices drop beyond a certain level) for new products, such as white sugar, sheep meat, pig meat and chicken.

And MEPs want to prolong the vine planting authorisation scheme until 2050 and insist that nutritional information, or at least energy values, should be added to wine labels.

The second, Tuesday, vote on CAP reform focussed on the new EU rules for direct payments and rural development after 2020.

Member states should cap annual direct payments to farmers at the level of €100.000, but they could allow farmers to deduct 50% of agriculture-related salaries from the total amount before the reduction, MEPs say. They also want to channel at least 5% of national direct payments to small and medium-sized farmers through a special per-ha top-up.

At least 2% of national direct payments budgets should go to young farmers (per-ha top-up for the first seven years). Further support for young farmers should be granted from rural development funding.

MEPs also want member states to use rural development money for specific actions to promote greater inclusion of women in rural economies.

The committee also insisted that all per hectare payments for farmers within EU states or their territories reach at least 75% of their average direct subsidies by 2024 and 100% by 2027.

The so-called new delivery model based on national strategic plans to be drafted by member states and approved by the EU Commission, should be delayed by one year until 2022 to allow more time for them to adjust, the Agriculture Committee said.

MEPs want to dedicate at least 30% of the rural development budget to environmental and climate-related measures and not less than 20% of direct payments to eco-schemes. These voluntary eco-schemes should support not only the environment, but also animal welfare.

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