Bucharest - Chairman of the Agriculture Committee Tomislav Panenić participated in the work of the conference on the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) and Cohesion Policy, held within the scope of the parliamentary dimension of the Romanian EU Council Presidency.
The main topics of the conference pertain to the adoption of the new legislative framework of the Common Agricultural Policy, the proposal for reduction in the CAP budget and the current effects of market volatility on European farmers.
Referring to the need of creating more efficient policies for small agricultural producers, Panenić pointed to the problem of younger EU Member States which have become raw material bases, with a simultaneous reinforcement of the trends in processing capacity development in more developed economies. This is negatively affecting small producers’ competitiveness in new Member States and migration of labour to the older Member States.
He also pointed to the problems facing farmers and residents of EU border areas who do not enjoy the benefits of EU membership of their countries, and who are subject to a more restrictive border crossing regime and additional conditionality in their daily life and business.
In the debate most participants expressed their concern about the announced cuts in the budget for CAP and Cohesion for the next programming period and stated that more conditionality would increase the production costs and that specific positions of the Member States and production conditions prevailing in them would have to be taken into consideration when deciding on the new CAP. They also stated that the decision on implementing the reduction in direct payments and eco-scheme should be a matter for the Member States. It was also heard that the CAP measures and activities should be defined more clearly, particularly with a view to the drafting and adoption of national strategic plans.
During the debate it was also stated that the legislative framework for the new CAP should be adopted only after the adoption of the Multiannual Financial Framework and that in the meantime consideration should be given to the items of the CAP budget.