We need an agricultural policy fit for the future!
In a key vote in the European Parliament this week on the Common Agricultural Policy Labour Euro MPs voted to determine how these funds should be spent in the period from 2014 to 2020.
Local Labour Euro MP, Arlene McCarthy said: “We would have liked to see much more radical reform overall but do welcome the greater transparency on agriculture spending, which after all accounts for 40% of the EU budget.”
In the run up to the vote, Labour worked with MEPs from across Europe to put forward ambitious environmental proposals, with a better deal for UK farmers and rural communities in Britain.
Arlene added “Farming is a vital industry for us here in the North West but also for the EU as a whole. It is important that we get it right which is why Labour Euro MPs want to see an agricultural policy that is environmentally friendly and sustainable for rural communities, to ensure that farming is ready for the challenges ahead.”
“There should be full disclosure on how CAP money is spent, which is why we proposed that information on the beneficiaries of European agriculture funds should be published”
“It was disappointing that other crucial reforms were rejected by MEPs.”
Labour called for a greater focus on rural development and an end to unfair, inefficient spending. Labour MEPs also highlighted a crucial need for Europe’s agriculture policy to be greener, so proposed stronger environmental protection requirements that farmers must meet in order to qualify for funding.
Arlene added: “CAP funding needs to work for everyone supporting farmers whilst benefiting society at large. We wanted reforms that would improve the competitiveness of our rural areas and protect biodiversity. Unfortunately these reforms were rejected by the Parliament, leaving us no option but to vote against the current CAP proposals as they stand.”
EU negotiations on the Common Agricultural Policy will continue in the coming months, with MEPs expected to vote on updated proposals from the European Commission in June or July.
Arlene added: “Labour Euro MPs will continue to push for radical reforms that deliver real public benefits. This is about the future of Europe’s food production. We need green and sustainable policies and a productive agricultural sector that is fit for the future.”
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