Faced with a timid attitude adopted by the Ministers of Agriculture, MEPs took stock of their responsibilities and decided to make the most of the possibility offered by the “Omnibus” to propose common sense adjustments to the Common Agricultural Policy. The decisive approach suggested by the report of the European Parliament’s Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development (AGRI) would give farmers, by 2018, the means to be more resilient to crises and stronger within the food chain.
Without waiting for a reform of the CAP on the basis of the still uncertain agenda, the line proposed by the report, which was adopted on May 5 by the EP’s Committee on Agriculture, would enable the 2013 reform to be completed and simplified on two key aspects: Risk management tools and Competition law. The amendments, which have been negotiated mainly by three key actors of the 2013 reform – Albert Dess (Germany), Paolo de Castro (Italy) and Michel Dantin (France) – propose the following improvements:
– Facilitate the recognition of Producer Organizations by Member States; Strengthen their role in processing, sale, transport or packaging; Enable these organisations to manage volumes among them, as well as the marketing and negotiation of contracts and the related conditions on behalf of their members: these are some of the initiatives they are requesting specifically for the “food chain”.
– In addition, they proposed not only, to reinforce the risk management component of the CAP by lowering the triggering threshold for crop or climate insurance to 20%, but also to enhance improvements in income stabilization tools. It is specified that this tool must become sectoral, should be triggered after 20% of losses, and should be able to be supported by the CAP when farmers and/or all the actors in the supply chain contribute to them, and not only in the event of a crisis.
These proposals give the possibility to enrich the range of CAP tools, while leaving Member States and farmers freedom of choice. It is now necessary that the European Parliament validates these proposals as a whole and then that it needs to ensure that they will be widely taken up during the trilogue negotiations also by the co-legislator and the Commission.