President Valcárcel rejects any plans to cut CAP budget

Brussels, 12-11-2012 — / — The President of the Committee of the Regions (CoR), Ramon Luis Valcárcel, has expressed his opposition to any reduction in the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) budget, raising concerns about the impact that a haircut may have on Europe’s rural areas and agricultural sector. During a meeting held on 7 November with the European Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development, Dacian Cioloș, he underlined the potential of the agricultural sector in delivering “smart, sustainable and inclusive growth”. Valcárcel pointed out that the CAP budget must therefore be maintained to help not only protect the livelihood of farmers, but create a more competitive and sustainable market.

With only a few weeks to go before EU leaders meet to negotiate the next EU budget for 2014-2020, President Valcárcel said that whilst he supported reform of the CAP its scope should not be reduced which: “Above all requires a budget appropriate to the objectives set by the European Commission for the future of the CAP to assure the sustainable management of natural resources, food security, presence of agriculture in all European territories and competitiveness of the European market”.

Commissioner Cioloș said: “I welcome the constant and active support of the Committee of the Regions for a strong budget for the CAP as proposed by the European Commission. Through its support to farmers and rural development programmes, the CAP plays a decisive role in generating jobs and growth in regions all across the European Union and promotes a balanced development of our rural territories”.

Valcárcel also said that the CAP was crucial in supporting farmers to work and live with dignity within a common market whilst minimising their reliance on subsidies, noting that: “There are parts of Europe where if farmers stopped receiving subsidies, income would fall by 30 % and would be unsustainable and it would be unviable to continue farming”.

Finally Valcárcel also said that given the importance of the agricultural sector for the EU, it was imperative to stabilise agricultural product costs and manage price volatility. More regulation was needed to ensure the long-term sustainability of the market, create employment, promote growth and protect the environment.

Photos of the meeting between President Valcárcel and Commissioner Cioloș are available online.

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