It has been over 15 months that Commissioner Ciolos presented the proposals of the Commission to reform the Common Agricultural Policy. After that, it was up the European Parliament to come to an agreement. After much debate, thousands of amendments and behind the scenes negotiations, first the European Parliament and subsequently the Council of Agricultural Ministers reached an agreement last month. Over the next months Commission, Parliament and Council will engage in a tripartite negotiation to come to a final agreement. If this agreement is reached in June, implementation is still feasible in 2014. This not only depends on an agreement on the CAP, but likewise on a final agreement on the Multiannual Financial Framework.
Last year, Groupe de Bruges presented its position paper on the CAP Reform to Commissioner Ciolos. A few months ago, Groupe de Bruges Vice-President and Professor of Agricultural Economics at the Polytechnic University of the Marche (Italy), Prof. Franco Sotte, wrote a provocative paper addressing what are in his view the biggest flaws in the CAP reform proposals and subsequently giving some concrete recommendations to remedy these flaws. Following this paper Groupe de Bruges has developed a short online survey, covering the most important items of the reform proposals. Without claiming representativeness, the results are nonetheless quite revealing. One striking outcome was the almost complete lack of support for the three greening measures as proposed by the Commission. The full results can be obtained HERE.
One of the interesting policy innovations introduced in the CAP reform proposals of the Commission is the creation of a European Innovation Partnership on Agricultural Productivity and Sustainability. The Groupe de Bruges is in principle positive of this new multistakeholder, bottom up approach to try to bridge the existing gap between science, research and agricultural practice. At the same time, much is still unclear as to its practical functioning. For this reason the Groupe de Bruges has created a working group, emphasizing recommendations for a successful EIP. On February 21 the first meeting of the High Level Steering Group was held. Key to the implementation of the EIP are so called operational groups, multistakeholder networks of both scientists, researchers and practitioners that form around different kinds of topics. To support these groups and to give general information about the EIP a Network Facility will be set up shortly. The tender was recently won by the Flemish Land Agency (Vlaamse Land Maatschappij).
Since October 2012 Groupe de Bruges is maintaining a Facebook page. Five times a week new items will be placed on this page. Besides the regular item ‘The CAP from A to Z: Word of the day’, the page will contain interesting news, upcoming events and opinions from a wide variety of stakeholders, all relating in one way or another to the Common Agricultural Policy.
Please have a look, take part in the debate and like us!
Since its inauguration in November 2011, EL-CAP, our e-learning course on the CAP, has attracted over 1,300 registrations from almost 70 different countries from Europe and the rest of the world. It is still possible to follow the course or parts of it.
The Groupe de Bruges is currently trying to find the funds to develop a complete update of the course and also to make the course available for Smartphones.
For more information download the brochure HERE.
The full course is now available. To go to the course, click
User guide available HERE.
Following last year's meeting the Groupe de Bruges has put its analysis and recommendations concerning the legislative proposals of the Commission on the new Common Agricultural Policy into written form. The paper was handed to Commissioner Ciolos personally on January 26 by GdB president Arie van den Brand.