CAP: The crusade of Commissioner Cioloş
13 October 2011
The European Commissioner for Agriculture, Dacian Cioloş, presented the draft reform of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) in Brussels on 12 October.
Adevărul notes that “Romania, like its counterparts from the East, will receive more funding in the fiscal period 2014-2020. The new reform benefits these states, which will gain 30 percent more in subsidies, to the detriment of the countries of western Europe.”
The main changes made to the CAP budget [55 billion euros per year, or 40 percent of the total EU budget] consist of simplifying individual payments, helping young farmers start up, and making the CAP simpler and more streamlined. The goal: to allow farmers to be more flexible and adapt better to markets.
Moreover, the Romanian daily continues, “the aid to large operators will be capped, grants will be given out based on the acreage actually farmed and not in terms of the total acreage or its production capacity. The budget for innovation and research will be doubled. Moreover, 30 percent of direct aid granted by the EU will be linked to measures to protect the environment,” writes Adevărul.
If Romania, which has the largest number of farms in the EU (32 percent of the EU total) welcomes this reform, the large landowners of Britain and Spain have something to worry about.
"The EU will cap aid to ‘sofa farmers’,” leads Público. The Madrid daily notes that the Commission has initiated “a special crusade to revolutionise agricultural subsidies.” In its view, the most novel element of the proposal is to control the subsidies to large landowners and farms whose owners do not engage in agriculture as their main activity. “This will directly affect the big landowners like the Queen of England or [Prince] Albert of Monaco, and in Spain, the symbolic case of the Duchess of Alba”, the newspaper writes.