MEPs want to keep the EU agriculture budget unchanged until 2020 so that farmers have incentives to provide secure food supplies, environmental protection, create new jobs and provide for a competitive EU farming sector

Ahead of Commission proposals on the future of the Common Agricultural Policy the Parliament is staking out its position for the next long-term budgetary period, running from 2014 to 2020.

In response to rumours of cuts in aid for rural development, MEPs stressed their support for adequate funding for this area.

"The vote sends a clear, strong signal to the commissioner [Dacian Cioloş] and I hope the Commission will bear in mind what we have put into the report and incorporate it in the final legislative proposal", said Albert Dess (EPP, DE), who drafted the resolution.

Making the CAP greener

If the EU's agriculture policy is to provide both secure supplies of high quality food and contribute to environmental protection and renewable energy, it must be adequately funded, say MEPs, to give farmers an incentive to use modern, environmentally friendly techniques.

Direct payments to farmers should be more directly linked to "greening measures" (low carbon emissions, low energy consumption). An EU wide incentive system, 100% financed by the EU, should be set up to support farmers who go in for sustainable production methods.

Fairer distribution of EU funding

Agricultural funding should be distributed more fairly among Member States and among different categories of farmers. Parliament proposes that each EU country should in the future receive a minimum percentage of the EU average payment. MEPs agree with a ceiling on direct payments per farmer but emphasise that new rules must take the size, employment record and environmental performance of each farm into account.

To avoid misuse of public money, direct payments should be reserved for "active farmers", i.e. those who actually use their land for production.

Stability: speculation, crisis management and farmers' bargaining power

Fighting speculation in agricultural commodities and extreme price volatility requires a global-level solution, say MEPs, in order to guarantee greater stability for farmers and secure food supplies for wide public. Parliament proposes a worldwide notification system of current states of stocks to counter speculation in agricultural commodities.

The milk market

To guarantee security of milk supplies, MEPs ask the Commission to monitor the milk market and use suitable policy instruments for milk and milk products even after 2015. The current quota system is to be scrapped in 2014.

Next steps

Today's non-legislative resolution was adopted by show of hands. The Commission will present its draft legislative package in the late autumn and Parliament will co-decide - together with the Council - on the final content of the legislation.

Procedure: Non-legislative resolution

Debate: 22.06.2011

Vote: 23.06.2011