300 pages on how to simplify the Common Agricultural Policy
The main issue for today’s debate in the Council (Agriculture and Fisheries) was on how to reduce red tape in the reform of the Common Agricultural Policy. Innovation was also on the agenda
“In the reformation of the agricultural policy, it is important to reduce the administrative burdens and costs for farmers and Member States. The Presidency has three basic goals: To make it easier for the farmers, to make it easier for the authorities – so we do not need to employ more inspection staff – and finally to make the rules more understandable for the farmers and ensuring the authorities are not later overruled by the EU,” says the chair, Danish Minister for Food, Agriculture and Fisheries, Mette Gjerskov.
Previous to today’s debate, the Danish Presidency had asked the Member States to contribute with concrete proposals on how to reduce red tape in the agricultural policy. Until now, the Presidency has received more than 300 pages of proposals.
“My colleagues already have contributed with more than 300 pages of proposals on reducing red tape. This does not only tell us that there is plenty to address. It also tells us about many national and regional differences. We need to keep that in mind whilst working on the reform,” says Mette Gjerskov.
The proposals from the Member States will be included in the process of reformation and the Member States also agree to continue efforts towards simplification of the reform before the final adoption.
It is important that the debate on simplification is part of the negotiations on the reform. Simplifications need to be incorporated from the very beginning.
The Common Agricultural Policy is to be reformed for the period 2014 – 2020. In October 2011, the Commission launched a proposal for a reform, and the individual elements will be discussed during the Danish EU Presidency.
European Innovation Partnership
In February 2012, the Commission presented a proposal on the European Innovation Partnership as part of the Europe 2020 plan. The proposal focuses on intelligent, sustainable and inclusive growth. The partnerships regarding ‘Agricultural Productivity and Sustainability’ were debated at today’s Council meeting.
“Innovation is a central part of the solution to future challenges. We need new knowledge and new technologies in order to improve productivity and competitiveness without the use of additional resources. Sustainability is a keyword and innovative technologies contribute to the creation of new jobs in the EU. The Innovation Partnerships will help achieve these goals,” says Mette Gjerskov.
The two main objectives of the European Innovation Partnerships are to improve the agriculture productivity towards 2020 and to ensure the quality of the arable land and its ability of adapting to climate changes.
The next step after today’s meeting and a debate in the European Parliament is the preparation of an implementation plan for the Partnerships.
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