Following votes today in the European Parliament which had the potential to radically overhaul the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP), the region’s Liberal Democrat MEPs, Edward McMillan-Scott and Rebecca Taylor have slammed a largely disappointing set of key votes as a “significant set-back”.
The Liberal Democrat MEPs were pushing to make CAP fit for the 21st century. They were pressing for the radical reforms required to make European farming more environmentally friendly, sustainable and globally competitive, while ensuring money is focused on supporting rural communities, rather than being spent on wasteful subsidies.
However, often in votes today the Liberal greening agenda for CAP was not backed.
Edward McMillan-Scott MEP commented;
“I am very disappointed that Parliament today voted to return to many failed policies of the past, and I fear we will see the return to the days of butter-mountains and wine lakes because of some of these votes.
“I think the biggest defeat is on greening. The loss of flexibility here will make it harder for farmers to run their operations more flexibly, resulting in fewer economic benefits for the future.”
Rebecca Taylor MEP added:
“Thankfully, we did manage to get rid of the potentially illegal double payments for greening measures and also reinstated full transparency on public payments made to individual farmers. This transparency is essential in order for the public to have confidence in how CAP is delivered.
“That being said, I am deeply disappointed with the majority of decisions today.”
Note to editors:
The Parliament today voted on four reports (Direct Payments, single Common Market Organisation, Rural Development and Horizontal regulation) that form the basis of an overhaul of the CAP. After today’s vote on the Parliament’s negotiation position, trialogues will now take place and it is hoped that negotiations on the files can be concluded under the Irish Presidency.