Agriculture Ministers confirm readiness to negotiate on the future of direct payments
The subject of the meeting of EU Agriculture Ministers and experts in agricultural policy was the future shape of the simplified system of direct payments and a more even distribution that would result in a fairer competitive environment on the single market. The Informal Council of Ministers for Agriculture and Fisheries in Brno brought agreement on the issue of the importance of direct payments as well as creation of a new Common Agricultural Policy after 2013. The Ministers further committed to address the issue of unequal levels of payments to EU Member States.
Participants in the Informal Council confirmed that the Common Agricultural Policy represents a basic instrument for ensuring sufficient amounts of high-quality foods, but it also significantly contributes toward increasing the quality of life in rural areas.
“The Ministers and heads of all delegations agreed that it is necessary to search for opportunities to increase the efficiency of the Common Agricultural Policy model after 2013 and correspondingly search for a model of direct payments that would be easy, sufficiently flexible and above all defendable before the public – the tax-payers,” Agriculture Minister Jakub Šebesta summed up.
The Ministers further observed that in the future direct payments should be considered in the context of market instruments and funds allocated to rural development and they should complement these instruments appropriately.
According to a number of delegates, the issue of the future direction of direct payments also deserves special attention. Such a direction should react appropriately to the growing demand of EU citizens for public goods, such as creation and management of the landscape, protection of land and water management.
“The level of direct payments in individual EU regions is negatively influenced by the different historical periods when these payments were calculated based on production indicators. As a result of such a disproportion the system of direct payments is already becoming less credible and difficult to defend and this trend will continue particularly after 2013,” explains First Deputy Agriculture Minister Ivo Hlaváč.
The Ministers agreed that the issue of the system of direct payments is a very complex one. Searching for opportunities for increasing its efficiency, while taking into consideration the specific needs of several sectors, would thus represent a significant contribution toward simplification and increased effectiveness of the whole Common Agricultural Policy.
“The Ministers confirmed the obligation to examine in great detail the opportunities for development of the system of direct payments and asses the varied levels of direct payments in the EU Member States after 2013, therefore the priority of the Presidency has been accomplished,” concluded Minister Šebesta.
- Tereza Dvořáčková, Spokeswoman of the Ministry of Agriculture
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Last update: 16.8.2011 15:19