This week the CAP reform negotiations entered the final phase as the European Parliament, the Council and Commission start the triologue process.
Over the coming weeks, the Council, Parliament and Commission will hold around 40 meetings in which they will attempt to agree on the final shape of the CAP 2014 – 2020. It is currently anticipated that a final political agreement will be reached ahead of the Council of Ministers meeting on June 24th in Luxembourg.
Insight on the sticking points in the forthcoming talks can be gained here: http://www.vieuws.eu/food-agriculture/brussels-briefing-on-agriculture-april-2013/
Topics include capping of direct payments, young farmers, rural development, redistribution of payments within and between Member States, and coupled support. The controversial issue of double payments is also addressed.
Also this week, the debate about the best way of delivering greening of direct support continues with the publication of a report by IEEP on the degree to which existing certification schemes for farm products (involving environmental requirements) or voluntary measures under agri-environment schemes could be considered to be ‘equivalent’ to the compulsory package of three greening measures proposed by the Commission in October 2011.
The report concluded that while the concept of equivalence may sound like a sensible and practical option in theory, the practical issues with its application are likely to lead to far greater administrative complexity and cost, both for Member States and within the Commission, with arguably little additional environmental benefit.