Everything went well for Commissioner designate Phil Hogan at the European Parliament’s Agricultural Committee on Thursday 2nd October. Instead of being “grilled” the conservative from Ireland could feel at home: With 32 against 10 votes there seems to be comfortable support for his new approach. “Simply simplify everything” in order to increase production, investments, even jobs in European Agriculture was his simple message, and added: “the one thing Simplification is not – is simple!”
“Over the coming years,” Hogan said “the abolition of the remaining production constraints, quotas for sugar and dairy, will put EU agriculture in a much better position to respond to market signals and global challenges.”
The incoming Commissioner made it sufficiently clear that the “greening and ecological focus area committments of the outgoing Commission” where not his and that he would review direct payments and eventually propose changes already within one years time. “I am aware of concerns about ‘greening’ and ‘ecological focus areas’. And I want to keep a close check on how the system works as we try it out.” Hogan added: “I will also review geographical indications – and, if necessary, will propose areas for further harmonisation and simplification. And I will also look at the potential to simplify the fruit and vegetable scheme.”
The 5 toughest questions faced by Phil Hogan at the Hearings of Juncker Commission
You can watch the entire hearing and read Hogans speech at the EU-Commission’s DG Agri website
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