2 March 2000
Long wait for eastern Europe — Fischler

EASTERN European farmers face an 11-year wait to receive the full benefits of the EU common agricultural policy, agriculture commissioner Franz Fischler has signalled.

Dr Fischler said an increasing number of people were talkng about January 2004 as the date for the first EU expansion, reports the Financial Times.

Transition periods of five to seven years would then be “reasonable” before eastern European farming could be fully integrated into CAP.

“In the long run, you cannot have two CAPs,” Dr Fischler said.

The EU could not apply all direct aid payments to Eastern Europe immediately, and one option was to phase them in gradually, with payments linked to production limits.

Poland,Hungary, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Slovenia and Cyprus want to join the EU in 2003, and are demanding full CAP benefits immediately.

In the same interview with the FT Dr Fischler spoke about the possibility of bringing forward a review of EU milk quotas from 2003 to 2002.

This would be widened to include market developments. It would also tie in with the date for reviewing other sectors.

  • Financial Times 02/03/2000 page 8