Governments resist plans to change CAP funding mechanism
Governments will resist moves to change how EU farm subsidies are paid, Estonia's rural affairs minister has said.
Tarmo Tamm - whose country holds the EU's six-monthly rotating presidency - has said the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) should remain fully financed by the EU, rather than co-financed by governments as mooted by the European Commission this summer.
"CAP should remain common policy, also in terms of financing," Mr Tamm (pictured) said.
He said that changing the direct payments system to include national contributions - which is common under EU regional and research funds - would be a "step towards the re-nationalisation of agricultural policy, and would put member states in an even more unequal competition position".
"We cannot support this idea, as it would be moving away from one of the core principles of the CAP," Mr Tamm said.
The future of the CAP budget is tied in with Brexit - where talks are breaking down over the UK's exit bill - and a Commission paper on the future of the CAP, which Mr Tamm is "hoping" will be presented by the end of the year.
EU countries are also discussing a separate CAP simplification move known as the omnibus regulation, which MEPs have seized on, tacking on more ambitious reforms such as opt-outs from EU competition rules for struggling producers. But Mr Tamm feels that it's important not to mix the legislation in with the overall reform of the CAP.
"To conclude the negotiations, it is important to strike the balance between the original simplification objective of the omnibus regulation and issues that could be discussed in future CAP negotiations," he said.