Cunningham opens CAP reform debate to public
By FWi staff
EUROPEAN Union farm ministers agreed to hold a public debate today (Tuesday) in Brussels to discuss the European Commissions Agenda 2000 proposals to reform the Common Agriculture Policy (CAP).
The idea of an open and televised debate was the brainchild of EU agriculture council president and UK representative, Dr Jack Cunningham. The debate will be shown live to interested public and media in the Council Press Centre in Brussels.
FWi Europe editor Philip Clarke will be at todays all-important TV talks, which mark the first official discussions on Agenda 2000 since the release of the commissions draft documents six months ago. The Commission issued its final proposals for CAP reform on 18 March.
Dr Cunningham said CAP reform was one of the key priorities during the UKs Presidency of the European Union.
“As a reflection of this, I am especially pleased that the EU Council of Ministers have agreed to my proposal to hold an open debate on the Agenda 2000 proposals,” he said.
“This is a crucial issue, to farmers, taxpayers and consumers throughout the EU and I am pleased that the Commissions proposals for CAP reform are being debated publicly,” he said.
The proposals include cuts in support prices for beef, cereals, and dairy. They also include an integrated approach to farm-oriented rural development and agri-environment measures.