Ciolos hints at CAP reform transitional period

Farmers and legislators could be allowed a period of transition in 2014 to adopt new measures outlined in Common Agricultural Policy reform, Dacian Ciolos has said.

Speaking during a panel Q&A session in Edinburgh yesterday (20 September), the European agriculture commissioner said once the budget had been confirmed, a political deal could be ready by the middle of next year for a new CAP to be in place at the beginning of 2014.

Responding to concerns from Brian Pack, who led a Scottish government enquiry into future agricultural support, that immediate implementation of new measures would be impossible, Mr Ciolos said the commission would consider treating 2014 as a transitional year.

“For direct payments it will be difficult to have the whole system ready for January 2014, so maybe the first year of allocations will be a transitional year – it’s possible that for the first year of allocations we will use the current system,” he said.

A taskforce had been set up to develop a system for implementation of rural development from 2014 onwards, while a special unit was in place to help member states identify the best practices for implementation of the new system, he added.

It was important that the UK government took on board the specific requirements of the devolved nations with regards to CAP reform and budgets, said Mr Ciolos.

Scottish Liberal Democrat MEP George Lyon, who hosted the commissioner on his second visit to Scotland, said a transitional year would be welcomed across the industry.

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