Bright, new, shiny CAP
“Health Check” to modernise the CAP and free farmers to respond to growing demand, says European Commission.
In the rapidly changing world of food and farming, the European Commission has proposed to further modernise, simplify and streamline the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) and remove remaining restrictions on farmers to help them respond to growing demand. The so-called CAP Health Check will further break the link between direct payments and production and thus allow farmers to follow market signals to the greatest possible extent.
Among a range of measures, the proposals call for the abolition of arable set-aside and a gradual increase in milk quotas before they are abolished in 2015, and a reduction in market intervention. These changes will free farmers from unnecessary restrictions and let them maximise their production potential.
The Commission also proposes an increase in modulation, whereby direct payments to farmers are reduced and the money is transferred to the Rural Development Fund. This will allow a better response to the new challenges and opportunities faced by European agriculture, including climate change, the need for better water management, and the protection of biodiversity.