In view of the plenary session vote on the Common Agricultural Policy after 2013, the Committee of the Regions (CoR), represented by René Souchon (FR/PES), President of the CoR's Commission for Natural Resources, points out that aid allocation must be made fairer to ensure that this policy enjoys the confidence of the European public.
Mr Souchon welcomes the amendment tabled by the rapporteur, Luis Manuel Capoulas Santos (PT/S&D), aimed at lowering the ceiling for direct payments to farmers to EUR 200 000. The thresholds proposed by the Commission are too high to allow for any genuine redistribution or to limit the speculative excesses currently taking place in some Member States.
These thresholds also reinforce the glaring injustice in the distribution of direct payments, which primarily benefit the farmers who need them least: in 2012, grain farmers and other oilseed producers in Europe shared EUR 15 billion in income payments while global prices, which have skyrocketed since 2007, mean that their incomes have never been higher.
"In the current crisis, which is generating endless debate on the 2014-2020 financial framework and is raising major concerns about the funding of food aid for the poorest, it would be outrageous for the EU budget to continue to fund the guaranteed incomes of a minority of farmers who make a more than decent living from their work", says Mr Souchon.
The CoR urges all Members of the European Parliament to stand firm against the pressure being applied by the lobbyists and to vote for a fairer distribution of direct aid payments under the CAP.