European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD)
Delivered in Plenary - 14th March 2013
Agriculture and CAP support to rural communities is a common thread across all EU Member States, but the industry varies in importance, from those whose economies rely on productive farming, such as Poland, to those with a much smaller agricultural sector such as my country, the UK. For all of us, rural development is the key to a healthy agricultural industry, but ultimately, I would like to see radical downsizing of the whole CAP scheme.
The general framework of this regulation is acceptable, as many of its measures will be voluntary for Member States, allowing each country to address the specific needs of its own industry.
While I totally reject the need for double funding for greening, and extended risk-management tools, I stand behind the regulation pragmatically and appreciate the independence it gives to individual Member States.
Agriculture may be a common thread amongst all of us, but clearly things like tobacco subsidies, compulsory crop rotation and export subsidies are totally unacceptable.