Bolder Proposals Needed for CAP Reforms

Article excerpt

The European Commission's communication on the long-awaited Common Agricultural Policy "health check" is a foundation to build upon, but the proposals do not go far enough. The health check is the first overhaul of the CAP since the introduction of the Single Farm Payment scheme in 2003-04.

It seeks to update and simplify the scheme, adapt the CAP to new challenges, such as food security, and make it more relevant to the modern world by moving more money away from direct subsidies into areas such as environmental stewardship.

But I believe that the European Commissioner should be bolder when final detailed proposals are published next year.

One of the issues with the reform in 2003 was that it introduced greater complexity and this should be corrected.

The Conservatives would like to see firmer proposals on the simplification of regulations, known as "cross compliance".

There should also be higher EU modulation with corresponding cuts in national modulation. Farmers in Wales are naturally aggrieved that they are subject to voluntary modulation on top of the standard EU rate of modulation, leaving them unfairly disadvantaged. …