EU’s farming policy budget must not be reduced - MEP's
- EU’s farming policy budget must not be reduced
- Brexit budget hole can be partly filled with new EU’s own resources
- Direct payments must be maintained to avoid market distortion
EU’s farm policy must be properly financed after 2020 to be able to deliver food security to nearly half a billion EU citizens, Agriculture Committee said in a vote on Tuesday.
The EU must increase or at the very least maintain the current level of Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) spending after 2020 to ensure fair income for farmers, protect rural jobs, bring about innovation and implement the Paris climate change agreement, Agriculture MEPs say in an opinion for the Budget Committee on the future EU’s long-term budget.
Any further cuts to the CAP budget would undermine the competitiveness of the EU’s agricultural sector and hit EU’s farming communities and rural areas, they warn.
The CAP is vital to produce high-quality food at affordable prices for EU citizens, ensure territorial balance, social cohesion and sustainability of rural areas, says the approved text. And while the EU’s oldest policy has evolved over the years, for instance to increase animal welfare and food safety standards and to make farming more sustainable and environmentally friendly, its budget has been continuously reduced, it adds.
The EU must respond now to various crises that recently hit many sensitive farming sectors, such as milk, pork, fruits and vegetables by increasing their support both financially and by providing farmers with new instruments to deal with price volatility and production risks, MEPs say. And even though the EU will also have to find money to deal with other new challenges, such as migration, security and defence, it must find ways, e.g. through developing new own resources, to finance both its traditional and new priorities, they insist.
Brexit: Filling the budget hole
To fill the CAP budget gap after Brexit, the Commission should work on alternative forms of financing, MEPs say. They want member states to increase their contributions to the EU budget but also insist on developing new forms of EU’s own resources in line with conclusions of the High Level Group on Own Resources (HLGOR).
Develop new EU’s own resources