Germany could give way on CAP reform

04 March 1999

Germany could give way on CAP reform

By FWi staff

GERMANY is expected to drop its proposal that funding of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) should be shifted away from Brussels towards individual member states.

The proposal, known as co-financing, has been vociferously opposed by France and was one factor in the break-up of farm reform talks in Brussels last week.

France, which has a large farm sector, is opposed to co-financing because it would lead to a massive bill for the Paris government.

But Germany, which pays more to Brussels than its farmers receive in subsidies, has until now favoured co-financing as a means of reducing Bonns CAP contribution.

Agriculture ministers from the two countries will try and resolve their differences later today before full-scale talks with other ministers begin again in Brussels.

German agriculture minister Karl-Heinz Funke will lunch informally in Cologne with his French counterpart Jean Glavany before formal negotiations start tomorrow (Friday).

And in a new compromise to be unveiled within hours to European agriculture ministers, Germany is expected to drop its insistence on co-financing.

Formal negotiations should have restarted on Tuesday but they were delayed to allow France and Germany to reach agreement.

Talks aimed at reforming the CAP will start again tomorrow morning after a dinner between the European Unions 15 agriculture ministers tonight.

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