EU Agricultural Policy Reform Delay02 April 2012
EU - The European Parliament has stated it will delay on deciding its final position on the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) reform until the EU Budget Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF) has been decided (scheduled for late December 2012).
The MEPs claim they must know the total amount of ‘budgetary resources’ available in order to decide how policy should be reformed. It had been expected that the Parliament and Council of Ministers would publish their positions in the autumn; even then their two positions will need to be reconciled before policy can be agreed.
This delay might push the subsequent procedures into panic mode, especially if the implementation is to remain as January 2014, says UK farm business consultants, Andersons.
UK Agriculture Minister Jim Paice has started stating publically that implementation might be 2015, something Andersons has been saying for several months. Some commentators have been suggesting that the EU Budget negotiations will not be completed at the Summit in late December this year when it is planned to be signed. This could raise the chance of a second year of postponements before implementation, making a new CAP start date of 1st January 2016 possible.
Commissioner Ciolos has confirmed that the Commission will be publishing a series of ‘nonpapers’ (informal explanatory notes) by the end of June. These are designed to provide more detail on the very broad polices set out in the October 2011 draft legislative proposals. They are primarily for the benefit of the Council of Ministers and European Parliament, to allow more informed discussions of the proposals.
One area where more detail has been called for is on the ‘greening’ proposals, but further detail may also be forthcoming on areas such as ‘capping’ and‘active farmer’. Whilst it may be nice to have a better of idea of what is being proposed, it still does not really help planning very much, says Andersons. Until the final CAP deal is agreed, any policy is subject to change.