15 January 1999
CAP reform to miss March deadline?
EU FARM ministers could struggle to meet their March deadline for agreeing the CAP reform package, the NFU believes.
Commenting on the timetable, NFU director general Richard Macdonald said that, although there had been a good deal of positive talk, much depended on what action Germany, which holds the EU council presidency, took.
Under EU rules only the presidency can come forward with alternative proposals to the EU Commissions. If Germany chose not to put forward alternatives to proposals already rejected by some member states, then it could cause distinct problems, Mr Macdonald said.
A second problem was whether final proposals were compatible with finance ministers plans for the overall EU budget.
But, whatever happens, CAP reform will remain the NFUs top priority in the coming months. And union representatives will continue working within Europe to find strategic alliances, he said.
Farming unions from each of the 15 member states are meeting German farm minister Karl-Heinz Funke next week to discuss the German Governments plans for CAP reform.
Following the release of MAFFs consultation document on reforms, the NFU has also produced a paper highlighting what it believes are the key issues.