MEP's back 30pc greening payment but avoid flattening SFP
Published 19/12/2012 | 06:00
SINGLE Farm Payment (SFP) convergence and greening targets were some of the CAP reform measures agreed by the Agriculture Committee of the European Parliament last week.
While MEPs agreed that 30pc of the SFP should be allocated to greening, they shied away from using greening as a tool for driving the redistribution of SFP entitlements.
The compromise agreement on amendments to the CAP reform proposals had majority support in the European Parliament's Agriculture Committee last Friday. These draft amendments will be voted on by MEPS at the end of January and will then form the basis for the negotiating stance of the Parliament.
"The broad parameters of a Parliament agreement have taken shape despite the fact that there are very many unknowns including the size of the available budget, the timelines in regard to implementation of agreed measures, and the number of hectares that will qualify for the Single Farm Payments," explained Ireland West MEP, Marian Harkin.
"This means that the Single Farm Payment will now be split in two, with 30pc allocated to greening," Ms Harkin said.
The MEP said the pace at which member states completed convergence of payments had been left flexible.
"The Parliament proposal is that by 2021 all payments should be within a plus or minus 20pc range of the average national payment," Ms Harkin said.
She said member states could also choose to use the external convergence model. This model is favoured by Ireland and proposes that any farmer whose SFP is below the average would gain one third of the difference between the current payment and the national average.