Dear friends of a sustainable CAP reform and a rural renaissance in EuropeWelcome to the new ARC Newsflash!

As decision making and debate on the CAP reform is now shifting to the national level, it is vital that we keep up to date with what ministers and Members of the European Parliament are saying – in Brussels and at home. From now on, our newsletter will be delivered once a month, and contain an overview of developments in Brussels, mini-reports on key meetings, details of forthcoming events, both public and policy-related, and a special feature from the ARC network. Your feedback is welcome to make it as useful as possible for all of you.

We are also keen to hear your comments on the new website launched today!!! You can enter them directly in the open forum (a new space where we will initiate discussions around the CAP reform – your suggestions welcome!) or send them directly to the new ARC Communications team. In my new role as website editor, I now have the honour of coordinating a group of correspondents from around the EU. If you want to join us and provide news and information on campaigns from your country and networks, please don’t hesitate to contact me.  And finally, check out  ARC’s contribution to The Parliament Magazine published earlier this month.

Kate Mann

Latest from Brussels

On 12th October, the European Commission presented the legislative proposals for the CAP after 2013. Reactions to the proposals can be found here. The proposals were officially presented at the October Agriculture and Fisheries Council, where the plans were widely criticised as being too complicated, creating more difficulties for farmers and administrators of the payments – more information available here. Further calls for a reduction in bureaucracy were also made at the European Parliaments Agricultural Committee meeting on 24th October. A key event this month, was the first Joint Debate on CAP Reform on November 7th between the Council, the Parliament and the Commission – read a full ARC report here. Details on the most recent Agriculture and Fisheries Council meeting can be found in the next section.

November Agriculture and Fisheries Council

The focus for the Brussels meeting on November 14th was direct payments (“first pillar”). Reservations and calls for more national flexibility dominated the public deliberations at the Council of Agricultural Ministers on the direct payment scheme of the EU Commission’s CAP reform proposal. Massive rejection of the proposed capping of payments for large farms and enterprises came from Germany and other Member States, whilst others concentrated on the new bureaucracy they suggest will be created by additional environmental requirements for 30 percent of the direct payments. The extent to which direct payments should be distributed more equally between new and old Member States was earmarked for later bargaining and discussion in the light of a finalised overall EU budget – find more information here.

Upcoming EU events

Debate on CAP with farm organisations at the European Parliament

Stakeholders’ conference on the CAP

Agriculture and Fisheries Council meeting on rural development

COMAGRI meeting

Upcoming public events

28.11.2011 BRUSSELS
Debate on GM crops cultivation in Europe

29.11.2011 LONDON 
Reforming the CAP: implications for UK agriculture and rural areas

08.12.2011 BRUSSELS
Human Rights and the EU-India Free Trade Agreement

12.12.2011 THE HAGUE
Hunger, Food & (Agroecological)Alternatives


Interview with…

Tiberiu Cazacioc, Romanian Platform for Fair and Sustainable Agriculture

“CAP reform should support small farmers, small producers and their traditional agricultural practices, which are performed in the frame of the sustainable agriculture…The developed world is trying to revive local food, support fresh food and create viable short food chains, whereas in Eastern Europe we have the chance to protect farmland’s rural legacy.”  Read full interview