France rejects Brussels’ agriculture budget proposal
European Union – European Union budget: unacceptable proposals by the European Commission on the CAP – Press communiqué issued by the Ministry of Agriculture and Food
Paris, 2 May 2018
The Commission has just published its proposals on the Multiannual Financial Framework 2021-2028. In order to compensate for Brexit and fund the new priorities, the Commission is putting on the table a proposal to reduce the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) budget by 5% in current euros. France cannot accept this proposal, as the CAP is not only the oldest and most integrated policy of the European enterprise but also, and above all, a policy incorporating strategic security and sovereignty objectives for the European Union.
For Stéphane Travert, Minister of Agriculture and Food, such a drastic, massive and indiscriminate reduction simply cannot be contemplated. It poses an unprecedented risk to farms’ viability, dangerously impacting on the incomes of farmers, for whom direct subsidies are an essential safety net. France will not be able to accept any drop in direct revenue for farmers.
The government upholds a modernization and simplification of the CAP to protect farmers against the hazards of the climate and the volatility of global markets, free up the development of agricultural and agrifood businesses and support the environmental transition.
The government will now carry out an in-depth analysis of these proposals, which are only the starting point for the negotiations due to begin at European level.
France has said it is ready for an expanding European budget of the 27, on several conditions: a modernization of policies, new own resources, conditions for the use of European solidarity funds, and the abolition of rebates in all forms.
Stéphane Travert said: “I am going to firmly and tirelessly champion a budget in keeping with the challenges European agriculture must tackle. If we want to support the transition of our agriculture to more sustainable, resilient and high-performance systems, if we want to address the expectations of consumers and citizens more broadly, we must protect farmers’ incomes and thus maintain a CAP budget commensurate with that ambition.
“Together with the government and the President, I shall therefore be fully committed, over the coming weeks and months, to championing a responsible budget. Today I am going to speak to my European counterparts to ensure that agricultural and food challenges, which are crucial, are taken into account in European budget balances.”./.