*Important* CAP reform: Last change for a citizen’s voice

Adam Payne AdamPayne_5 at hotmail.com
Fri Feb 8 17:38:52 GMT 2013

Spending on the bloated Common Agricultural Policy has been increased, while spending on infrastructure and other growth projects has been cut. 

As you may know the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) is in the last stages of a big decision where 50 billion euro’s and the course of the CAP between 2014 and 2020 are to be decided.

After long cross-party negotiations the EU Parliament’s Committee
on agriculture, (COMAGRI) voted in late January 2013 to seriously water-down the CAP reform.
Their proposal makes it even less responsive to ecological protection measures and even more supportive of large scale and corporate production at the expense of small-scale farmers that the last round
of CAP. 

Their proposal seeks, among other things, to keep the sums and recipients of agricultural subsidies confidential (these sums
amount to over 1 million pounds per year in the case of some recipients and are tied to the size of land holdings); to make compliance with greening measures voluntary; and to invest public tax money designated for rural development in private schemes to insure against price fluctuations.

On the 12th of March 2013 the EU Parliament and its MEPs will as a whole will vote in plenary on the disastrous reform proposals endorsed by COMAGRI. This is the first time in the 50 year
history of the CAP that MEP’s and the Agricultural Committee will have to vote together on the proposal, and the last chance for civil society to influence the vote.

MEP’s will tend to go with the opinions of ‘expert’
advise and committees, but are to some degree accountable to constituents. It is really important that you contact all the MEP’s in your area explaining your concerns and asking them how they will vote.

All MEP’s are in their constituencies next week (11-15th February) so you can try to arrange a meeting with them. You can also write to them or email them before the 12th March to try and persuade them to vote against the COMAGRI’s proposals.

A useful 2 page document for understanding the issue can be found here: http://www.goodfoodgoodfarming.eu/fileadmin/files/goodfoodmarch/GoMAD/Whats_at_stake_GoMAd_en.pdf

You can find the MEP’s for your area here:

The CAP uses huge amounts of public money and is
the policy that has the single biggest influence on our food and farming systems. It is important to ensure it is used for common good and the development of food sovereignty.

Cameron's EU budget deal is bad for Britain and for the eurozone recovery 
Spending on the bloated Common Agricultural Policy has been increased, while spending on infrastructure and other growth projects has been cut. 
By Will Straw Published 08 February 2013 12:13
David Cameron was right to call for an EU budget cut. Agricultural payments and regional funds have been bloated and badly spent for years. But the deal he looks to have secured is bad for Britain and bad for the eurozone recovery.
Last year, IPPR called for a 25 per cent cut in the EU budget with reductions to the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) and the repatriation of regional funds for rich countries. We suggested that Cameron put the UK rebate on the table in order to deliver this 'grand bargain'. Our calculations showed that the UK would be better off as a result, with a lower net contribution than at present. But in order to secure a headline cut in the overall size of the budget, to assuage eurosceptic demands, the Prime Minister appears to have taken a backward step on the road to European recovery.
The British rebate has been preserved in its entirety but reports suggest that the UK (along with all rich countries aside from Italy) will end up making a bigger net contribution. This is partly legitimate because cohesion funds for poorer EU countries will increase. But it is also because €27bn of cuts have come, not from the inefficient and distortive CAP budget, which has increased by €9bn, but from the funds for competitiveness and growth.
This budget includes funding for research and development, transport and energy infrastructure, which create jobs in the short-term as construction takes place and growth in the long-term as they improve the productive capacity of the economy. For example, the Connecting Europe Facility, which is intended to increase the efficiency of energy transmission and therefore bring down bills, has been cut from €9.1bn to €5.1bn. 


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