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Adopted at the plenary session 10-11 December 2014
Opinion of the European Economic and Social Committee on the Amendment to the Commission proposal COM(2011) 628 final/2 for a Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on the financing, management and monitoring of the common agricultural policy
The EESC considers the abolition of the milk quota system from 31 March 2015, as decided in 2008, to be a fundamental change. Since the introduction of this comprehensive method of guiding production on 1 April 1984, it has over time become increasingly clear that dairy prices and farmers' incomes have not been sufficiently effectively supported and stabilised and that dairy production in the EU has decreased, while rising significantly worldwide.
The EESC argues that EU dairy policy after expiry of the milk quota system, i.e. post-2015, must not only allow for growth and expansion but should also be obligated to avoid abandonment of dairying and to provide support for smaller farmers especially in disadvantaged areas and mountainous regions .
This EESC opinion intends to look deeper into the merits and the consequences of the Commission's Action Plan for nature, people and the economy.
The Commission has developed an action plan to improve the implementation of the Nature Directives, their coherence with socio-economic objectives and engagement with national, regional and local authorities, stakeholders and citizens.
The EESC is strongly of the view that agriculture is an extremely important sector for the economic, social and regional development of the partnership countries. Meeting the objectives set will require favourable agricultural development. Investing in agriculture and developing the sector are also key conditions for reducing poverty in rural areas.