Europe To Streamline Farm Policy

LUXEMBOURG - The European Union has decided to strip dozens of layers of red tape from its vast farm policy, aiming to simplify the lives of farmers producing everything from poultry, eggs and cereals to potatoes.
calendar icon 13 June 2007
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While there have been several reforms of the Common Agricultural Policy, or CAP, over the years, the subsidy-heavy system remains complicated.

At a regular meeting Monday, EU farm ministers decided to replace around 40 different regulations covering 21 commodity policy areas, known as Common Market Organizations, with just one framework law.

That law will set out basic rules covering classic policy areas like intervention, private storage, import tariff quotas, export subsidies as well as state aid and competition rules.

More than 650 legal articles relating to agriculture policy will be condensed into fewer than 200, officials said. The streamlined regulations should take effect in 2008.

"This is a major step forward in simplifying the CAP," the EU agriculture commissioner, Mariann Fischer Boel, said in a statement.

Creating a single Common Market Organization "will make the policy more transparent, more understandable and less burdensome to implement," the statement continued. "Less red tape will make life easier for farmers and administrators and should reduce costs for the food industry."

Source: HeraldTimes
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