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EU Greens call for a radical new CAP


EU Greens call for a radical new CAP


The Greens/European Free Alliance In The European Parliament

PRESS RELEASE

Brussels, 7 February 2001

Greens/EFA launch 10-point plan towards a NEW Common Agricultural Policy

Greens/EFA call for a radical reorientation of agricultural subsidies


The Green/European Free Alliance Group in the European parliament today called for a radical re-orientation of EU subsidies towards a more environmentally friendly and consumer-oriented agricultural production.

Speaking at a press conference at which the Green/EFA Group presented its ten-point plan for a New Common Agricultural Policy, Friedrich-Wilhelm Graefe zu Baringdorf, President of the Committee for Agriculture of the European Parliament said:


"The recent BSE crisis has shown all EU citizens that we cannot go on with an agricultural policy which is exclusively fixed on increasing production. As well as BSE, the dioxin scandal, the use of hormones and antibiotics in cattle raising and other dangerous practices have shown that this kind of agricultural policy must be ended, and the sooner the better.

"The Greens/EFA demand a radical re-orientation of the distribution of agricultural funds. Farms will only get funds if they commit themselves to follow the principles of consumer protection, environment protection and animal welfare. Agricultural policy has to switch from quantity to quality.

There is another compelling reason for quick reform of the CAP: We cannot enlarge the Union with the current system, because it would be simply too expensive. The Greens/EFA demand that funds given to the accession countries is already given in a way which facilitates the reorientation of their farm policies towards a sustainable and environmentally friendly agricultural production."


Paul Lannoye, President of the Green/EFA Group, said:

"The Greens/EFA want to include the question of co-decision of the European Parliament for the Common Agricultural Policy in the so-called Post-Nice-Process. It is time that the CAP gets out of the hands of small but mighty agricultural lobbies and subjected to democratic control. Parliament has always been a guarantee for the respect of the precautionary principle and consumer protection. We call upon the heads of Government and State to give Parliament co-decision rights at the EU Summit in Laeken next December."

Eurig Wyn MEP (EFA- Wales) member of the European parliament's Agriculture and Rural Affairs Committee stressed that in order to achieve a sustainable and integrated rural development, subsidies must be redirected. He said:

"Rural development has been a neglected side issue of the Common Agricultural policy. But Agriculture and rural development are like hand and glove. What we propose is not to draw money away from agriculture per say, but to direct it into new sustainable communities. A direct link must be established between the agriculture of an area and the communities that it sustains.

"Mass production in agriculture has destroyed several small farm units and consequently rural villages and towns that are dependent on a thriving small farm sector. In my own community, where there were thirty full time farmers twenty years ago, there are now only six.

"Recent criticisms of the CAP- although more than justified - should not mean the end of a common policy in agriculture- but as a catalyst for a new improved policy. For a policy that takes up 45% of the EU total budget, cutting funding without restructuring will not work."


Copies of the 10 point plan will be available on request. Please e-mail ehaf@europarl.eu.int

ENDS


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