Brussels rubbishes 'back door' milk quota scheme
Fears that a French proposal to introduce a 'quota by the back door' in 2015 have been rubbished by Brussels-based spokesmen this week.
A conference on managing European milk markets when milk quotas cease in 19 months' time is due to take place in the Belgian capital next Tuesday.
French MEP Michel Dantin had proposed a support system funded by a levy on farmers who increased their milk by more than 5pc a year to help prop up milk prices if dairy market returns collapsed in the years ahead.
However, spokesmen for both the EU Commission and ICOS said that the proposal was highly unlikely to gain support.
In addition, they said that there was no possibility of the quota system being maintained beyond April 2015.
"This conference is about what options we should look at when quotas go, rather than the options open if quotas should go," said the Commission's spokesman, Roger Waite.
"The Commission maintains an open mind on possible steps, and will discuss the conclusions of the conference with the [European] Parliament and the Council.
"We are also keen to look at this issue now, as member states are drafting their plans for implementing CAP reform, so that they can consider additional measures in regions where production is perhaps more sensitive."