EU outlines more changes for CAP
The prospect of linking further environmental requirements to EU farmers’ subsidies has been outlined by the European Commission. It has put forward three options for a revised EU Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) that would enter into force in 2014, all seeking food security, environmental protection and a better targeting of support to active farmers. Option 1 would make small adjustments to the existing system. The second option would split existing subsidies into different payments for specific “greening” agri-environmental actions. Option 3 would phase out all direct subsidies and provide limited payments linked to environmental and climate change aspects. The requirement for farmers to meet certain environmental quality standards in return for subsidies was introduced in the last reform of the CAP, which also saw the abolition of the EU’s compulsory 10% set-aside rate ( Agrow No 557, p 8).