3 January 2002
Germans call for EU-wide modulation

By Isabel Davies in Oxford

A COMPULSORY modulation rate should be introduced across the whole of Europe, delegates at the Oxford Farming Conference were told.

German parliamentary state secretary Matthias Berninger told the conference more money should be transferred away from food production subsidies.

Mr Berninger was appointed Parliamentary State Secretary in the Federal Ministry of Consumer Protection, Food and Agriculture last year.

Speaking on Thursday (3 January), Mr Berninger said more money should be used for rural development and achieving environmental goals.

“Compulsory modulation is a big chance to transfer money across. Its the only way to make sure money goes across, ” he said.

At present, only the UK and France have introduced modulation, although Germany has a bill going through on the subject at the moment.

Mr Berninger said a new vision was needed for European farming following disasters such as BSE and the foot-and-mouth crisis.

He did not indicate at what level modulation should be set, saying only that European ministers should decide after taking into account EU expansion.