MEPs call on EU Commission to back off from Health Check

MEPs meeting in Strasbourg are calling for more modest changes to the CAP than those proposed in the EU Commission’s “health check“.

In particular, they are demanding a smaller increase in compulsory modulation, from 5% to 7% by 2012, compared with the 13% the commission is after. 

They also want lower rates of “progressive” modulation, so that farmers getting more than €300,000 in subsidy receipts only face additional cuts of 3%, not the 9% the commission wants. 

To exempt more smaller farmers from modulation, the MEPs have also voted to increase the “modulation-free” franchise from €5000 to €10,000. 

The MEPs’ opinion – which also seeks to limit milk quota increases to just 1% in 2009 and 2010 – has now been passed to EU farm ministers. 

But it is non-binding, and ministers are meeting in Brussels now (Wednesday, 19 November) to consider a new compromise paper from the French presidency. 

They will negotiate through the night to decide the final details of the CAP health check.