12 September 1997

Ministers to tour Europe…

GOVERNMENT is stepping up attempts to win more allies in Europe over CAP reform by sending junior farm minister Lord Donoughue to Hungary and the Czech Republic this week.

It will be the first time a UK farm minister has visited eastern Europe to discuss EU enlargement and CAP reform, and Lord Donoughue plans to visit Poland later in October.

Lord Donoughue said he hoped the prospective member states would back the UKs policy of moving away from production support to place agriculture on a global footing.

He said CAP reform would make farm products more price competitive and more sensitive in consumer and environmental terms. But he accepted talks on the different price, wage and currency structures between east and west needed to be ironed out before entry into the EU. &#42