The ministers of agriculture of the EU member states agreed before the end of the year to reach consensus on the reform of European agricultural policy. On several points of the reform proposed by Brussels, there is already progress, says European Commissioner for Agriculture Marian Fischer Boel: “By eliminating the practice of leaving part of the land uncultivated, we will be able to produce more grain. We will also abolish customs duties on imported grain. Well, finally, quotas for milk production have already been increased by 2%. We intend to strike a balance between supply and demand. “
The current system of subsidizing European farmers “eats” almost 40% of the EU budget. At the same time, experts say that the European agricultural sector lacks flexibility. In particular, producers were not able to adequately respond to recent surges in grain and milk prices.
French Agriculture Minister Michel Barnier said in this connection: “Our task is to adapt the agricultural industry to the current market situation, develop mechanisms to maintain a strong agricultural policy and at the same time more balanced in terms of the distribution of subsidies.”
The goal of agricultural sector reform is to eliminate the relationship between subsidies and output. This will put an end to overproduction and stimulate competition. Brussels also plans to strengthen environmental control in the sector and modernize backward agricultural regions.