CAP reform compromise rejected


26 February 1999


CAP reform compromise rejected

By FWi staff

THE European Commission yesterday (Thursday) tabled a compromise offer on reform of the Common Agriculture Policy in a failed bid to prevent the talks from stalling.

The idea was to seal a deal on farm subsidies before the start of an informal summit of European Union heads of government taking place this weekend in Bonn.

But the farm ministers from the EUs 15 member states were having none of it, and negotiations ground to a halt in the early hours of this morning.

The deal, made in conjunction with the German presidency, would have cut by 25% the prices which farmers are guaranteed for beef.

The Commission had previously insisted on a 30% cut.

It also suggested guaranteed milk prices could fall just 10% – against the 15% put forward earlier – and Greece, Italy and Spain were offered the opportunity of lifting production.

The Commission made no change to its proposal to cut cereal prices by 20%, which would take them down to world levels, but it agreed to extend set-aside until 2002.

Another element of the deal involved the phasing in over three years, rather than one, of the Commissions plans to reduce direct aid for oilseeds to the level of cereals.

On milk, the Commission suggested abolishing production-limiting quotas in 2006 by offering a review in 2003.

France was among countries which rejected the Commissions offer saying it was “unacceptable”.

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