A controversial draft report which advocated cutbacks in CAP spending after 2014 has now been ditched according to Farm Commissioner Mariann Fischer Boel. She denied having backed the report which called for agriculture to account for a lesser share of the EU budget that it does at present. Fischer Boel claimed that the paper was now a 'non paper' and was 'in the bin'.
However, the position may be a little less straightforward than it appears. It was a small group of Commission President Barosso's advisers that drafted the review with his explicit approval. With Barosso back for a second term it is quite likely that the final version of the budget review document, to the tabled in the New Year, will contain views not dissimilar to those in the draft, including linking Single Farm Payments more closely to the provision of public goods.
Budget Division sources indicated that just how much the CAP's budget will be reduced is still up for grabs, but considerable cuts are considered to be necessary to focus spending on other higher priority investment areas. These include climate change and the promotion of growth and jobs.