Legislation for the new Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) was endorsed by the Agriculture and Rural Development Committee on Monday, following last week's informal agreement in talks between Parliament, the Council and the Commission.
Parliament and Council negotiators reached a deal Tuesday evening on outstanding Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) reform issues such as co-financing rates for rural development and cuts to payments to big farms, after the Council showed flexibility on issues of crucial importance to Parliament: The deal was based on the new mandate adopted on 23 September by the Agriculture and Fisheries Council.
The following is a summary of the priorities of the Lithuanian Council Presidency outlined to the different parliamentary committees by Lithuanian ministers this week, from 8 to 12 July. This text is going to be updated daily
Parliament's rapporteurs welcomed on Wednesday adoption of Agriculture Council's general approach on the reform of the EU farm policy but stressed that in some areas tough negotiations will have to take place.
EU farm policy reform must distribute EU funding more fairly, make "greening" measures mandatory but flexible, better equip farmers to cope with market challenges and cut red tape. So says the Agriculture Committee's opening position for negotiations with EU member states, as set out in texts voted on Wednesday. This will be the first EU farm policy reform shaped by Parliament as a full co-legislator with member states.
MEPs questioned Tonio Borg intensively on his nomination to take up the Commission health and consumer protection portfolio. They urged action on delayed tobacco legislation and sought assurances on his views on women's rights and non-discrimination, in a hearing on Tuesday.
EU member states must do more to improve the welfare of animals in transit by enforcing rules, checking journey times and imposing dissuasive penalties on offenders, say Agriculture Committee MEPs in a resolution voted on Thursday. To shorten journeys to abattoirs, the EU should also promote the use of local ones and consider an eight-hour, EU-wide limit on journey times, they add.
Quotas for sugar beet producers must be prolonged to allow beet producers time to adapt to new market realities, and EU farm spending should be frozen in real terms for 2014-2020, said many Agriculture Committee MEPs in Tuesday's EU farm policy reform debate.
The new EU farm policy must have a decent budget to provide for healthy farming practices that deliver a secure supply of high-quality food to all EU citizens, national parliamentarians and EP Agriculture Committee MEPs agreed in Brussels on Monday.
Ideas to make direct payments for farmers fairer across the EU and simplify checks on how they spend the money were tabled by Agriculture Committee MEPs on Tuesday, as input to the post-2014 farm policy reform package. MEPs also welcomed proposals to prolong wine planting rights and sugar quotas, but said that "greening" measures should be better tailored to the needs of each Member State.