Franco-German Working Group on Future of the CAP
A new working group to ‘prepare the future of the CAP post-2013’ was established by the French and German governments on 2 July. The initiative was announced following a meeting in Stuttgart between the new French Agriculture Minister, Bruno Le Maire, and his German counterpart, Ilse Aigner. The first formal meeting of the working group is scheduled to take place in September, with initial positions on the future reform of the CAP to be drafted ‘in the coming months’.
Whilst the two Ministers reportedly stressed the need for a ‘strong and close Franco-German relationship in terms of European agriculture’, the working group will also, in principle, be open to other Member States. With this in mind, the French Minister plans to visit a number of European capitals to discuss the working group’s plans, starting in London followed by Madrid, Rome, Bucharest and Warsaw.
At this stage it remains to be seen what influence the working group will have in practice, given recent failed attempts by the Czech and French Presidencies to agree a formal position on the future of the CAP between Member States.
Initial French and German positions
Mr Le Maire outlined three key objectives for European agriculture from the French perspective, following a meeting with Commission President José Manuel Barroso on 3 July, namely that:
- ‘strong regulatory instruments’ would be needed to ‘guarantee stable and decent revenues for farmers’;
- prices throughout the whole food supply chain should be more transparent, with the possible appointment of a European watchdog; and
- ‘innovation and investment in the agri-food sector should be put at the heart of the Lisbon Agenda’.
The position of the German government is less clear however, perhaps due to political sensitivities around imminent federal elections, scheduled for 27 September, which could result in the formation of a new government.
- French Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Fisheries Press Release (02/07/2009) Crise du lait: lettre commune franco-allemande à la Commission européenne,
- Agra Facts No. 52-09 (03/07/09) Joint Fr-D Ministerial letter; Le Maire comments.
- Euractiv (06/07/09) France, Germany join forces on CAP reform,
07 Aug 2009
The Institute for European Environmental Policy coordinates CAP2020. It is an independent not for profit institute which undertakes research in a number of policy areas including agriculture and rural development.
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