How fit is our farming?

22 2008

How fit is our farming?

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'Health check' of EU farming policy to make sure the sector stays fit for the new challenges and opportunities ahead

How is the EU's common agricultural policy (CAP) dealing with new environmental challenges such as climate change, water management and the protection of biodiversity? Is it equipped to seize the opportunities offered by biofuels? And how has it been affected by the EU's expansion to 27 countries?

To find out how the CAP can be further adjusted to make life easier for farmers while protecting consumers' and taxpayers' interests, the EU commission is going to conduct a 'health check'.

This review will examine three main aspects:

how to simplify the system of direct payments to farmers (under which aid is no longer linked to production)
how to adapt EU intervention measures (e.g. quotas) to today's economic situation
how to better protect the environment through modern technologies and incentives, and how to finance these measures.
The project builds on the 2003 CAP reform, which changed the way the EU supports the farm sector, leaving farmers free to produce what consumers want and making farming in the EU more competitive. The ’health check' will follow up this modernisation process.

"We start from the basis of a modernised and much improved CAP, which is a very long way from the popular caricature" said agriculture commissioner Mariann Fischer Boel. "Farmers are free to take their decisions in response to market signals, they are required to respect strict environmental and animal welfare standards, and the infamous food mountains are a thing of the past. [”¦] But this does not mean that we can rest on our laurels."

The commission now plans to launch a consultation with stakeholders and will hold two seminars to kick off the dialogue. Based on the results of this dialogue, it will make concrete legislative proposals in spring 2008.

Health check FAQs

Source by europeanunion

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