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Ag Council Discusses Direct CAP Payments

by 5m Editor
15 November 2011, at 10:02am

EU - At the Agriculture and Fisheries Council, there were discussions on direct payments as the result of the CAP reform.

In Brussels yesterday (14 November), the 3123rd Council meeting of the Agriculture and Fisheries Council was held under the presidency of Marek Sawacki, Minister for Rural Development of Poland.

Main results of the Council

Concerning fisheries, the Council had an exchange of views on the external dimension of the Common Fisheries Policy.

As regards agriculture, ministers had an exchange of views on the regulation on direct payments within the framework of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) reform package.

During lunch, ministers had a discussion on the greening of direct payments.

Finally, the Council was briefed on the implementation of the directive concerning the welfare of laying hens, on a conference on forestry for climate and biodiversity, on the 30th conference of the directors of paying agencies of the EU and on the prolongation of the sugar regime to 2020. Concerning the aid of the most deprived persons in the EU a compromise should guarantee the effective functioning of the programme in 2012 and 2013 under specific conditions.

CAP reform – direct payments

The ministers had an exchange of views on a regulation establishing rules for direct payment to farmers under support schemes within the framework of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP).

As regards the proposed structure for direct payments for 2014-2020, and the possible adjustments to envisage, several member states questioned the proposed definition of 'active farmer' and some elements of the 'greening', like the share of national envelopes devoted for this task of fraction of agricultural land to become ecological focused areas. However actions proposed in favour of small farms and young farmers were generally well received, also some countries thought they should be voluntary.

In addition, a vast majority of delegations insisted that the new procedures for direct payments seemed to run counter to the important objective of simplification of the CAP.

Concerning the distribution of direct payments between member states, several member states raised concerns or stated their opposition to the proposed redistribution of payments between member states.

The proposal on direct payments is part of the CAP reform package which was presented by the Commission during the last Agriculture Council in October. At this occasion, the Council held a public debate on the whole package.

Together with the proposals on rural development, on single common market organisation and on the financing of the CAP, the regulation one direct payments is one of the four main proposals which have to be co-decided by ordinary legislative procedure (OLP) between the Council and the European Parliament.

Concerning the CAP reform, the Council will hold one more policy debate on rural development in December.

Further Reading

- You can view the report of the meeting by clicking here.