Round Table on CAP Reform
Ahead of a key European Parliament vote on CAP Reform on 23 June the discussion covered a number of important issues. On the overall budget of the CAP in future, both MEPs said they were confident that current levels would broadly be maintained although of course there were concerns over how that would be divided, not least between the two 'pillars' of CAP funding as currently determined. It was suggested that the 'Less Favoured Areas' regime may in future offer more possibilities for attracting funding to Scotland.
There was also discussion of how an 'active farmer' might be defined in future and it was agreed that this would a crucial impact on how funding was distributed. A number of speakers referred to Brian Pack's report on the future of the CAP and said that it contained very good ideas for equitable reform of the CAP in a way that would also be beneficial in Scotland, but there were concerns that the strategy being pursued by the UK Government would not allow these ideas to be brought to fruition.