Press Release – Significant progress achieved on Common Agricultural Policy reform
19.12.2012, 14:56 (CET)
The progress achieved during the last six months on the future of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) was discussed during the last AGRIFISH Council under the Cyprus Presidency, which is taking place today, December 19 2012. The discussion was based on a detailed progress report which indicates the major changes brought by the Cyprus Presidency on the four basic draft regulations. The report also identifies the issues which, in the view of the Presidency, remain open and require further discussion.

“The progress report has been drawn up under the responsibility of the Presidency and does not represent any negotiated outcome. It is simply our well-considered assessment of where the Council’s centre of gravity lies on the key issues of the reform ", said Cyprus’ Minister of Agriculture, Natural Resources and the Environment and chair of the Council, Mr. Sofoclis Aletraris.

“We have made significant progress and we believe that with this report, the Cyprus Presidency responded to its basic and substantial ambitions”, Mr. Aletraris added.

The current situation according to the Presidency report

Under the Direct Payments Regulation, several discussions on the status of young farmers and small farmers, internal convergence and "greening" took place during the last six months. Presidency proposals on "greening" received wide response from the Member States and are considered to be a significant step towards resolving this very important issue. Convergence among Member States, capping of the direct payments to large farms and flexibility between the two pillars of the CAP are among the issues that remain open for further discussion.

Regarding rural development, risk management and delimitation of areas with natural constraints were the main issues where significant progress has been achieved. However, areas with natural constraints, investments on irrigation, risk management and the income stabilisation tool will need to be discussed further.

The Council also examined market measures, the bargaining power of producers as well as exceptional measures under the Regulation on the single Common Market Organisation (CMO). Further work has to be done on the recognition of producer groups, reference prices, the Crisis Fund and quality standards.

As regards the Horizontal Regulation, significant progress was made on issues such as clearance, certification bodies and on the spot checks. Further discussions will be needed on sanctions, the avoidance of double funding and the publication of the names of the beneficiaries.

 Moreover, during the Council meeting, the Commission informed the ministers on the vine planting rights and on the implementation of the 2008 wine reform. The Commission also presented the findings of the second report on the smooth phasing out of the milk quota system. The ministers also discussed the request of several countries, applying the Single Area Payment Scheme, to increase the percentage of coupled support more than 10%.

Presidency Spokesperson in Brussels
Marianna Karageorgis

Coreper I

Telephone: +32 27404002
Mobile: +32 473858237
Advisor, Communications Officer
Christodoulos Photiou

Ministry of Agriculture, Natural Resources & Environment
Agriculture and Fisheries
Telephone: +357 22408333

Watch the press conference here

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