Parliament questions CAP reform
A controversial European Parliament response to the Commission's CAP reform proposals has sought major changes to the package.
In a serious departure from the CAP blueprint delivered by Agriculture Commissioner Dacian Ciolos last November, the parliament's report has sought to dilute some of the environmental thrust of the reform process by removing environmental constraints from the core Pillar I axis of farm policy.
The document suggests that compulsory 'greening' actions which form a key plank of the Ciolos proposals be moved from Pillar I to Pillar II of CAP. Pillar I deals with direct payments to farmers, while issues such as rural development and environmental measures are covered in Pillar II.
The report also rejects the capping of Single Farm Payments to individual farmers and calls for a major overhaul of EU rural development policy.
The report, which was discussed by the parliament's agriculture committee yesterday, was drawn up by Bavarian MEP Albert Dess.
It is the parliament's response to the latest CAP reform proposals that were released last November by Commissioner Ciolos.
Central to the Ciolos package was a proposal that farmers would receive a basic payment plus additional aid for 'greening actions' or 'public goods'. However, the Dess report maintains that any programmes aimed at the "sustainable management of natural resources" should be delivered from a catalogue of area-related Pillar II measures.
If farmers are to secure their full Pillar I payments then participation in at least two 'greening' measures from Pillar II will be obligatory.