Commissioner looks forward to strong, flexible CAP

By staff reporter

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: European union, Common agricultural policy, Mariann fischer boel

Mariann Fischer Boel, Europe's agriculture commissioner, has
highlighted key area for the upcoming CAP 'Health Check', as the EU
gears up to making the common agricultural policy stronger and more
flexible.

Speaking in Nicosia, Cyprus, last week, Boel said she was pleased with the recent deal for the European fruit and vegetable sector, stressing the deal should bolster competitiveness and expand the ways in which producers can help themselves. She then went on to highlight the main points of the upcoming 'CAP Health Check', a move she said was necessary given that 12 new member states gave joined the EU since the basis of reform was agreed in 2003. "Later this year I will launch the exercise which I call the "CAP Health Check". This will assess whether the reformed CAP is meeting its objectives as effectively, efficiently and simply as possible - in a European Union of 27 Member States, and in the foreseeable international context,"​ she said. The first topic to come under scrutiny will be an assessment of how well the Single Payment Scheme (SPS) is working, with proposals to be expected to further move towards more decoupling in the Member States which do not apply the Single Area Payments Scheme (SAPS). Boel also stressed that a higher level of compulsory modulation may be expected, in order to provide the necessary funding for the ambitious rural development policy. Quotas will also come under the microscope, she said. "In particular, I have given a clear signal that we should not renew the milk quota system when it expires in 2015. Therefore, we need to think carefully about transitional measures to help give the sector a soft landing,"​ said Boel. Looking beyond the Health Check, said the commissioner, there will also be thought given to the future of the CAP after 2013 as part of a review of the European Union budget as a whole. She refused to comment on the budget review, but indicated it was above all about getting the CAP needed to progress beyond 2013. "I am confident that this CAP will still have a "first pillar" of some kind, but we will need to think carefully about the exact form of that pillar. "We will also need a strong second pillar - rural development policy - to continue to support competitiveness, care for the environment, economic diversification and a high quality of life in our rural areas. "The work of reforming and adapting the CAP in a changing world is not easy. "There is always a balance to be struck between the need for a common policy and the need for flexibility. But I believe this work has been progressing well over the last few years. And… we can keep up that progress - towards a strong, supple, useful CAP for the future,"​ said Boel.

Related topics: Policy

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