Agricultural spending accounts for about 40% of the European Union's annual budget and has been at the heart of EU policy since the very start of the European project. As the last revision of the agricultural policy dates from 2003 and 12 countries have joined the EU since then, it is clear that it must be updated in order to face new challenges. EP has now agreed what line to take and negotiations will start in earnest. Read on to find out more.
On 13 March MEPs voted on amendments to the Commission's proposal on the reform of the agricultural policy. This will be the starting point for negotiations with member states, set to begin in late March or early April.
At the same time the EP, the European Commission and member states are negotiating the EU's next long-term budget for 2014–2020, which also sets limits for expenditure for the common agricultural policy.
In January 2013 the EP's agriculture committee voted on amendments to the Commission's proposal on the reform of the agricultural policy. These amendments help to shape the Parliament's initial position on the reform.
Regarding the reform of the agricultural policy, the issues to be tackled are: a fairer distribution of money between old and new member states, less red tape, and also how to stimulate greener farming, promote farming among young farmers, guarantee fair prices for farmers and best compete in the global market.
The new common agricultural policy should be in place from the beginning of 2014.
This feature will keep you updated on the latest developments in the negotiations on the common agricultural policy.