The European Parliament has had its say on the CAP reform process and, as predicted by Agra Europe last week, has largely backed the amendments proposed by its agriculture committee (ComAgri). The majority of MEPs backed the four ComAgri positions on direct payments, rural development, financing and market measures as the momentum towards a final agreement, potentially within the timeframe of the current Irish Presidency, gathers pace.
However, some hurdles remain. The Parliament vote largely proved that there is still work to be done before a deal that satisfies all member states can be reached. Parliament did back a number of key aspects of the Commission proposals such as the ‘capping’ of Pillar One payments as well as its plans on ‘active farmers’. 'Capping' would have implications for UK farmers in particular, a number of whom operate on a large scale.