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CAP Talks Conclude in Luxembourg

29 October 2008

EU - Scottish farming's case has been made in Europe during the latest round of negotiations on the future shape of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP). The discussions on the CAP ‘health check’ have been taking place in Luxembourg and concluded yesterday.

NFU Scotland representatives, together with Defra Minister Hilary Benn, the Scottish Government Cabinet Secretary Richard Lochhead and their officials, have been attending the Council of EU Farm Ministers. Like all other nations, Scotland has been outlining its priorities for how the CAP should be delivered in the future. A large amount of the detail on an eventual deal on CAP has still to be worked out with attention now focussed on the next three-day meeting of farm ministers, which starts on Wednesday, 19 November.

Speaking from Luxembourg, NFUS Chief Executive James Withers said:

“It has been a useful and important 48 hours. Both the European Commission and French Presidency have been in listening mode with each member state involved in meetings with them.

“It has been a good opportunity to restate our priorities. In all honesty, we expected to leave here with a clearer signal on the detail of an eventual deal. Instead, the focus has been on clarifying the priorities for each member state at this stage rather than going one step further and identifying where compromise may be needed to secure a deal.

'Top of our list over the last two days has been to protect the existing funding mechanism for the Scottish beef calf scheme (SBCS) and to ensure it continues to be funded by the same sector it seeks to support. In addition, our position supporting the creation of common rates of modulation across Europe and our views against imposing higher rates of modulation on larger farms have been reiterated.

“Everything now builds to the expected final negotiations between the 19th and 21st November. That is when we expect the groundwork done in the last 48 hours will pay off.”

TheCattleSite News Desk



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