08 September 1997
"No choice" on EU farm reform, says Fischler

FRANZ FISCHLER, European Union (EU) agriculture commissioner, will tell Community agriculture ministers in Luxembourg tomorrow that they have no choice but to undertake fundamental reform of the Common Agricultural Policy.

He will say it will be necessary as an autumn offensive to prepare for EU enlargement.

He will warn ministers that farm reforms outlined in July are essential if surplus food mountains are to be avoided in the next century and if farmers are going to be able to take advantage of growing world markets.

Enlargement and farm-reform proposals, known as Agenda 2000, will be debated this autumn and winter at ministerial meetings.

Fischler will follow up his warnings with a tour of European capitals in a bid to persuade governments and farmers of the need for changes. He hopes to publish detailed proposals at the beginning of 1998.

His reforms face wide opposition from farmers, who believe their income will be hit. Set-aside payments are under threat.

  • Financial Times 08/09/97 page 2