In October 2011, the European Commission published proposals to reform the EU’s Common Agricultural Policy (CAP), which were agreed at the end of June 2013. The Committee has been working consistently on the subject since 2007, when it published a report on the Future of the CAP. A further substantial report was published in 2011 on Innovation in EU Agriculture, and in September 2012, the Committee published a short report on the reform of the CAP as it applies to the sugar sector.
The Committee remains in correspondence with the Government on Common Agricultural Policy Reform issues.
With negotiations on the CAP drawing to a close mid-2013, the Committee took evidence from the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs. The Committee explored a range of issues with him, including reform of the CAP.
With the reform of the CAP agreed at the end of June 2013, the Committee plans to continue its scrutiny of the proposals. On 11 September, the Committee heard evidence from:
- The National Farmers' Union
- The Institute for European Environmental Policy; and
- The European Commission
Some of the topics discussed during the evidence sessions included: the strengths and weaknesses of the deal reached; outstanding issues to be addressed in the implementation of Pillar 1; modulation; innovation in the farming sector; and environmental sustainability.
The Committee subsequently set out its views following these evidence sessions on the CAP in a letter to the Government on 17 October 2013. The letter is available below:
Scrutiny work update
In November 2011, the Committee convened a Seminar to debate the findings of its Innovation in EU Agriculture report in the context of the reform proposals. The Seminar was attended by the European Commission, a Government Minister and stakeholders. Subsequently, the Committee sent its positions to the Government and EU institutions.
Since then, the Committee has continued its scrutiny work. On 4 July 2012, the Committee held an oral evidence session with former Agriculture Minister, Jim Paice MP, on CAP reform, including a series questions relating specifically to the sugar regime and others relating to:
- Risk management
- Direct payments – "greening" and re-distribution between Member States
- Rural Development Regulation
- Farm Advice
- Integration of the Water Framework Directive into the CAP reform