The Irish Presidency offered an alternative to the European Commission’s proposals on the convergence of CAP direct payments within member states at Monday’s Farm Council, and it seemed to go down well with most of those in attendance reports Agra Europe.
The Irish proposal, that would only require member states to move partially to uniform area-based direct payments by 2020, was backed by a majority of governments at the meeting, although Farm Commissioner Dacian Ciolos made it clear he opposes the plan, criticising it for a lack of 'ambition'. He has a point, as it is a typical CAP compromise on the lines of 'make me pure, but not yet'.
All member states are to move towards a uniform payment per hectare at national or regional level by the start of 2019, the European Commission said in its CAP reform proposals, with a transitional period to apply up to 2018. But many member states feel this suggestion is too drastic and the consensus seems to be that a slower pace of transition is required.