The European Socialists and Democrats today in Strasbourg backed a proposal to negotiate with the Council and Commission on several changes to the current EU Common Agricultural Policy (CAP), which accounts for almost 40% of the EU budget.
These changes include stronger provisions to make EU subsidies more dependent on greening and measures to reduce bureaucracy and ensure a fairer and more transparent distribution of funds among farmers and EU countries.
For the first time ever, no farmer will receive more than €300,000 and the subsidies will be redistributed to support small and medium farmers. In addition, there will be specific measures to support young farmers.
The S&D Group successfully overcame the opposition of the EPP (European People's Party) on some key issues:  
  • The names of all beneficiaries of farm subsidies will be published
  •  It will not be possible to receive EU funds from different sources for the same activity
  • EU subsidies will be blocked if farmers do not comply with EU laws on environmental protection and animal welfare 
The European Parliament negotiating team will be led by S&D MEPs Paolo De Castro, chair of the European Parliament's committee on agriculture, and Luis Capoulas Santos, the Parliament's rapporteur on CAP reform.
The negotiations will start on 11 April and are expected to conclude in June 2013, after which the European Parliament will vote on the outcome.

Paolo Alberti
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