I welcome most of the European Commission's proposals launched which, to some extent, incorporated the civil society's input on the reforms needed in the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP). We welcome the enhanced focus on the environment. We at the EESC believe that CAP funds should in future be used to maintain and develop everywhere multifunctional agriculture geared towards sustainability objectives.
One of the aims of the common agricultural policy is to stabilise markets. Stable markets are important. For this reason, the EESC thinks it is vital to continue in future to use market instruments in order to secure stable prices and avoid major price fluctuations. This should be done in such a way as to avoid wrecking production capacity in other parts of the world.
Farmers rightly expect a fair income from the sales of their products on the market and as remuneration for the services they provide to society under the European agricultural model. For key EU projects such as cohesion, the single market and the CAP, we need a strong EU budget. We would therefore ask Member States to pledge to make sufficient funding available in these areas from 2014 onwards.
In a period of financial crisis, it is easy to forget that we have for some time now been in the throes of a food crisis as well. We need to maintain food production in all regions of the world. European production is important, but at the same time European policies must not destabilize markets in other parts of the world.
The CAP is one of the earliest key components of European integration and is now one of the largest elements in the EU budget. It is important that decision-makers, even during a financial crisis, engage in thorough discussions and make bold choices on this fundamental policy area.
Please consult the EESC opinions on the CAP.
You can find other comments by the EESC president on the CAP here.
Watch Mr. Campli's views on the CAP Reform proposals. Mario Campli is the president of the NAT Section.