Understanding the CAP
The Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) is one of the oldest policies of the European Union, and responsible for over 40% of the total EU budget. Every 7 years, the policy is reformed. Responsible for our food, our rural communities, our countryside, our health and our farmers, the CAP affects everyone.
In the 2014 – 2020 reform, the EU Parliament and the EU Council must reach a joint decision on the final outcome. This is the first time in the history of the CAP that this has been the case. With the Parliament voting, civil society has a bigger opportunity than ever before to influence the final outcome. As our elected representatives, they must listen to the demands of EU citizens.
The Commission first released its reform proposal in October 2011. Since then, the members of the Agricultural Committee (COMAGRI) and the Agricultural Ministers from all EU Member States have been debating the future direction of the CAP. Opinions are varied, with over 7,500 ammendments submitted by COMAGRI.
The final vote on the CAP reform in the COMAGRI will take place on January 23 -24 2013. This will be followed by a vote in Plenary in March 2013. After this the final trialogue between the Commission, the Parliament and the Council will begin.