MEPs draw up battle lines on CAP reform

By Ed Bray | Thursday 21 June 2012,
Fairer redistribution of farm subsidies between old and new member states, more proportionate checks on farmers and a later end date for vine planting rights and sugar quotas – these are some of the key changes MEPs will seek to make to the European Commission’s proposals for reforming the Common Agricultural Policy after 2014. In a preliminary exchange of views, on 18-19 June, members of the Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development (AGRI) were largely favourable towards moves by Portuguese Socialist rapporteur Luis Capoulas Santos to introduce a faster convergence rate to make payments fairer across the EU. But some MEPs, such as Janusz Wojciechowski (ECR, Poland) and Sandra Kalniete (EPP, Latvia) pushed the rapporteur to go further, while others, such as Michel Dantin (EPP, France), warned that too fast a rate could put farms in older member states out of business. Continue reading