CAP deal approved by Farm Ministers, debate on Mediterranean reform taking off

On 29 September, the Agriculture Council approved the first steps of the reform of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP), and started an informal debate on further measures on tobacco, olive oil, cotton and sugar.

At the Agriculture Council on 29 September, ministers approved the first phase of the reform of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP), following the political agreement that was reached on 26 July.

The deal has paved the way for the following reforms:

  • decoupling of agricultural production from support, which can begin as early as 2005 with the merging of the numerous subsidy payments into the Single Farm Payment;
  • diversion of an increasing part of farm payments into the farm budget'srural development fund, starting at 3 per cent in 2005, and increasing to 4 per cent in 2006 and 5 per cent in 2007.

Ministers at the Council also started an informal debate on the second part of the reform, which had been presented by Agriculture Commissioner Franz Fischler on 23 September. This reform concerns the tobacco, olive oil and cotton sectors, and proposes options for reforming the EU's sugar regime (see

EURACTIV 24 September 2003). Concerns about the Commission's proposals were raised by the Spanish, Greek and Danish delegations.


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