Pressure from Portugal for CAP reform

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Related tags: Common agricultural policy, European union, Portugal

Portugal is adding to the pressure within the European Union to
reform its common agricultural policy. Portugal is proposing a new
environmentally-friendly...

Portugal is adding to the pressure within the European Union to reform its common agricultural policy. Portugal is proposing a new environmentally-friendly support plan for farmers that could take effect as soon as 2003, reports the Financial Times. Antonio Capoulas, the Portuguese agriculture minister, proposed providing support per farm unit to promote quality output. He suggested a "deeper contractual relationship between farmers and society in general" to safeguard the environment, landscape and open spaces. This plan would promote market mechanisms to encourage entrepreneurial farm management while stabilising farmers' incomes and broadly maintaining current price support mechanisms for a transitional period to 2006. Prices would be adjusted gradually to world market levels in a second transitional period to 2010. The "modulation" principle would be applied to pay for transitional aid, and will provide an element of flexibility over subsidies paid to farmers. Portugal currently uses modulation and would become mandatory throughout the EU, allowing the accumulation of surplus funds in the CAP to pay for the new quality-based farming policy. Under this plan, a new version of the CAP could be in place from 2011. Renate Kunast, the German farm minister has similar objectives. However, while Germany is seeking greater national responsibility for farm policies, Mr Capoulas stressed the need for a common EU agricultural and rural policy. He also insisted the EU should and can stick to agreed EU budgetary limits for farm spending in the 2000-2006 period. Source: Financial Times

Related topics: Policy

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