Farming Unions Reject EU Budget Proposals31 October 2012
EU - Copa-Cogeca has rejected new Cypriot Presidency’s proposals on the future EU budget 2014-20, warning they represent a significant cut in farm spending and risk threatening food security and rural development. This is totally unacceptable in view of rising food demand, higher production costs and substantial market volatility.
Mr Pesonen warned that farmers are already being squeezed hard by high input costs. Agricultural incomes are half the average level and food demand is on the rise. They are also already being confronted with measures that would make them do a lot more for less money under the future Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) in both pillars.
The Commission’s proposals would already mean a cut in the CAP budget of 10 per cent in real terms. Now the Cypriot Presidency is proposing further cuts and increased levels of flexibility between pillars. Agricultural spending, which is actually less than one per cent of EU public expenditure, must at least be kept at current levels until 2020, to ensure farmers and their cooperatives have a viable future.
The Presidency also proposes that Member States may transfer up to 15 per cent of resources available for direct payments to farmers under the first pillar to the second pillar and that Member States should not have to co-finance transferred funds. “If farmers are to provide secure supplies of food and meet new environmental measures under greening, the budget for the first pillar must be maintained in full” said Mr Pesonen.
“It is also important to ensure that there is strong national and regional support for rural development measures under the second pillar. All second pillar expenditure should therefore be co-financed. The Presidency proposals are therefore totally unacceptable and I urge heads of state and governments to make sure they are revised”, Mr Pesonen said.
The move comes as talks begin on the proposals, in the run up to the EU Summit on November 22-23.
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