The European Commission presents an outline of a future CAP which shifts more responsibility onto the Member States.
“These first CAP ideas for the next Multiannual Financial Framework present an interesting model for a stronger involvement of Member States in determining CAP spending. Unfortunately, the communication fails to discuss a much more fundamental reform option, which is the gradual phasing out of farmers’ income support. The Commission admits that direct payments to farmers benefit to a great extent large farming enterprises. The Commission, however, shies away from the straightforward conclusion to cut back this income support. The document reflects the often-used strategy to develop an alibi-legitimisation for subsidies which have become anachronistic.
The EU budget has recently come under pressure as a result of Brexit and the need to devote more European resources to defence and migration. The CAP is a particularly obvious case for cuts that can be made in order to partially compensate for these spending needs. Fortunately, the Commission’s communication – at least in one sentence – still mentions the idea of a future national co-financing scheme in agricultural policy. It would be an important step in the right direction if Member States were required to participate in the financing of a highly questionable income support provided to one privileged sector.”
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