Farmer's Weekly is reporting today that the European Union council is warm to a new vision for agriculture from the French government. Presented by French ag minister Dominique Bussereau at this week's farm council in Brussels, the report calls for measures to improve global competitiveness while "retaining a degree of protection in recognition of the higher standards Europe's farmers have to adhere to."
The call to lighten the burden of the common agricultural policy's management rules on EU members was met with approval. The French paper recommends a range of income stabilization tools, including an optional insurance program. The paper also suggests private storage aid, processing aid, payments for cutting production and promotion programs should be used.
Eleven member states support the French proposals, intended to be a supplement to 2003 CAP reforms. But the United Kingdom, Denmark and Sweden say they would prefer a more radical reform to the CAP that calls for an end to all farm subsidies by 2020.
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