Catania on CAP: We are running out of time

Following the failure to agree on the EU budget at the recent EU Summit in Brussels, Italian Minister of Agriculture Mario Catania has warned that time is now short in terms of finding an agreement, and that the overall timetable may slide.

Credit: European Union

“We are out of time to start the new reform of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) in 2014. I consider it reasonable to think that it will be impossible to avoid a transitional regime, even if an agreement on the 2014-2020 EU budget is reached in next months.” He also added: “I suggest the European Commission starts working on transitional regulations.”

According to the Italian Minister, it is very likely that the European Council will not return to the EU 2014-2020 budget before February. For agricultural policy, this means “that, at best, with an agreement of the European Council in February, we would need several meetings of the Agriculture and Fisheries Council before finding a common position on all the rest. Then, the trialogue (Council, Parliament, Commission) would start and this might offer up a few surprises.

Italy is not yet satisfied with the results obtained in the first round of the European summit dedicated to the 2014-2020 EU budget. Italy does not support the cuts to agriculture. In this regard, Minister Catania asked to take a concrete step for maintaining direct payments and to make a significant effort for supporting rural development.”