18 May 1999
Europe resolves differences over milk and oilseeds

by FWi staff

EUROPEAN agriculture ministers have resolved their differences over milk quota and oilseeds and formally adopted the regulations relating to Common Agricultural Policy reform.

The European Agriculture Council meeting in Brussels formally agreed that the milk quota regime will be prolonged until 2008, with a mid-term review in 2003.

The review will be carried out on the basis of a commission report with the aim of allowing the milk quota scheme to run out after 2006.

With regard to oilseeds, the Berlin summit earlier this year had concluded that the area payment for cereals of Euro63/ tonne should be applicable from 2002/3 onwards.

According to the European Commission, the applicable level of aid for oilseeds during the transitional period should be linked to that of cereals.

Thus, the area payment should be equal to Euro81.74/ tonne for the 2000/01 marketing year and Euro72.37/ tonne for 2001/02.

The ministers agreed that reductions resulting from the overshoot of the maximum guaranteed area should not mean payments less than Euro58.67/ tonne in 2000/1 and Euro63.00/ tonne in 2001/2.

Both moves enabled ministers to formally adopt the regulations relating to reform of the Common Agricultural Policy under Agenda 2000.

This adoption follows the political agreement of the ministers in March and the conclusions of the Berlin summit on the overall Agenda 2000 package.

The outstanding issues were resolved by the Special Committee for Agriculture which enabled the ministers to adopt the regulations without debate.