Big farms set to lose in EU agriculture policy
LUXEMBOURG - Reuters
Luxembourg’s Foreign Minister Asselborn (L) talks with his German counterpart, Westerwelle, during an EU foreign ministers meeting in Luxembourg. AP photoEuropean Union negotiators gathered yesterday for talks to finalize reforms of the bloc’s 50 billion euro-a-year farm policy that could remove almost half of the subsidies now given to some of its largest grain and livestock producers.
Many of the proposals are meant to make the 50-year-old common agricultural policy (CAP) more fair and environmentally friendly, to justify the huge sums paid to farmers each year. But critics say EU politicians plan to reverse some of the progress made in previous CAP reforms and the proposals could harm Europe’s food security.
Representatives from EU governments, the European Parliament and the European Commission will hold two days of talks in Luxembourg to agree the likely shape of the reform, before reconvening in Brussels tomorrow to seek a final deal.
Agriculture will consume nearly 40 percent of the bloc’s $1.3 trillion budget for 2014-2020 - the period covered by the reform - ensuring it remains the biggest single item of EU expenditure. But many governments and the other EU institutions have yet to reach an accord.