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The "C" in "CAP" must continue to stand for Community.

Theme - Agriculture

Today and tomorrow, the reform of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP), comprising a €270 billion budget and set to run for five years, will be negotiated in a final "jumbo trialogue".

Our German MEP Ulrike Müller (Free Voters) will participate in the trialogue as rapporteur for the report on the Horizontal Regulation on the financing, management, and monitoring of the CAP (FMM), one of the three reports up for debate.

MEP Müller expressed her satisfaction with the results achieved so far: "With my report, we are far ahead of the others and have managed to conclude all important issues with a few exceptions. I am particularly proud of what we have achieved with the new implementation model. On the one hand, we offer farmers planning security, and on the other hand, we provide flexibility for the Member States. In the future, this will make seeing where and how CAP funds are spent a lot more transparent. We also owe this to the taxpayers."

To better protect EU funds, it was decided at the last trialogue that the European Commission is to control Member States in the spending of EU funds and approve national strategy plans. MEP Müller: "In doing this, we have strengthened cooperation and with the breakthrough in the last super-trialogue we have ensured that the "C" in CAP continues to stand for Community".

This time on the agenda is negotiating the crisis reserve, the performance reserve, and the use of the data mining tool ARACHNE, which aims to combat the existing misallocation and corruption in connection with EU agricultural funds. The Parliament wants to make the use of ARACHNE mandatory to create more transparency in the distribution of CAP funds. The Council, on the other hand, favours a voluntary approach due to concerns that the tool is not yet fully developed. MEP Ulrike Müller called on the European Council to be more flexible in this regard and move towards the position of the European Parliament. This was the only way to reach a result quickly, she said.

Finally, the MEP stressed the importance of a breakthrough in the Strategic Plan Regulation, without which the Horizontal Regulation could not be concluded either. The earmarking of funds for practicable eco-schemes, green investments and the compatibility with the farm-to-fork strategy and the biodiversity strategy appear to be central to her. The promotion of young farmers and the reduction of bureaucracy are also linked to this. During the transition to the new delivery model, member states must make support available to farmers.

Müller, who is a dairy farmer herself, concluded: "Sometimes I feel that we in Brussels are too detached from farming families in our law-making. We have to meet the needs of practising farmers. They need planning security and stability. I know that from my own experience as a farmer."

 

You can read Ulrike Müller's full interview with POLITICO here.