Subsidies: New CAP to occupy middle ground
19 November 2010
By 2020, the common agricultural policy (CAP) will be “more environmentally friendly, more evenhanded, more efficient and effective,” announced Commissioner Dacian Cioloş, when he presented proposals for the reform of the CAP on 18 November. “So that’s the slogan,” remarks Libération. In practice, the text aims to offer greater assistance to small farmers, new member states and environmentally friendly agriculture. At the same time it makes no bones about “advocating a ceiling on direct payments to farmers much to the annoyance of Paris and Berlin,” explains the French daily, which views the project as “heralding an ambitious overhaul” to restore the legitimacy of a policy that accounts for 40% of the EU’s budget.
Dacian Cioloş has avoided the “radical option of setting aside income support for farmers to focus solely on environmental goals, or at the other end of the spectrum a minimal reform to reduce disparities and inequities in the distribution of subsidies to farmers in various states,” remarks Le Monde.
For Les Echos, the new CAP will attempt to occupy the middle ground because it will likely represent a “break with the status quo that is so close to the hearts of the two main beneficiaries of the current policy (France and Germany), but it will not implement the drastic cuts demanded by the United Kingdom.”