23 September 1998
World financial turmoil could affect CAP reform

TURMOIL on the worlds financial and food markets could affect proposals for the reform of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP), warned Franz Fischler, European Union farm commissioner.

Dr Fischler told a meeting of farm ministers in Austria that the European Commission had ordered studies on market prospects and farmers incomes. The studies will be made available to EU countries negotiating on the Agenda 2000 proposals for CAP reform.

The commissioner was asked whether the commission would change its proposals for cutting guaranteed prices to farmers and conceded: “We need to assess all the complexities. We may well not have to amend our proposals.”

Dr Fischler had said previously there was little scope for change in his proposed cuts for beef, cereals and milk.

But farmers have criticised the cuts and proposals for compensatory payments. They believe their position will be made worse by the fall in commodity prices which is likely to be exacerbated by political and financial turmoil in Russia.

Dr Fischler also warned of possible delays to the reform programme posed by the European parliaments timetable for debating them.

  • Financial Times 23/09/98 page 38