Farm ministers fight it out in Brussels

24 February 1999

Farm ministers fight it out in Brussels

AGRICULTURE ministers meeting in Brussels are still no closer to getting an agreement on reforms to the Common Agricultural Policy, reports the Financial Times.

French farm minister Jean Glavany said his country had “deep divisions” with Germany over funding of the CAP reforms.

He is supporting cuts of 10% in the guaranteed price of cereals. But the European Commission is insisting on cuts of 20%.

The Commission is also insisting on a similar settlement for oil-seed farmers, albeit subject to a phasing-in period.

The Commission has also hinted at retaining compulsory “set-aside” arrangements that pay farmers to take land out of production.

This is a retreat from its previous stance – where it wanted set-aside for emergencies.

Germany also faces conflict with France over “co-financing”, whereby member states would take on the burden of funding agricultural subsidies.

France is fundamentally opposed to the change.

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