MEPs meeting in Strasbourg are calling for more modest changes to the CAP than those proposed in the EU Commission’s “health check“.

In particular, they are demanding a smaller increase in compulsory modulation, from 5% to 7% by 2012, compared with the 13% the commission is after. 

They also want lower rates of “progressive” modulation, so that farmers getting more than €300,000 in subsidy receipts only face additional cuts of 3%, not the 9% the commission wants. 

To exempt more smaller farmers from modulation, the MEPs have also voted to increase the “modulation-free” franchise from €5000 to €10,000. 

The MEPs’ opinion – which also seeks to limit milk quota increases to just 1% in 2009 and 2010 – has now been passed to EU farm ministers. 

But it is non-binding, and ministers are meeting in Brussels now (Wednesday, 19 November) to consider a new compromise paper from the French presidency. 

They will negotiate through the night to decide the final details of the CAP health check.