While this autumn the European Commission will be submitting its first proposals to reform the CAP, the French Minister of Agriculture, Bruno Le Maire, and his German counterpart, Ilse Aigner, presented in Berlin on 14th September, the "Franco-German position on a strong common agricultural policy beyond 2013". This joint statement, the fruit of seven months of government consultations, confirms that the CAP reform should not only maintain a high level of financial resources but should also be based on the principle of renewed regulation.
Remembering the new challenges faced by European agriculture, the new expectations from European citizens, the new global context characterized by a growing demand for food and non-food produce, increasing price volatility and climate change, France and Germany demonstrate that only a sufficiently strong CAP will be able to cope.
The post-2013 CAP should be, according to them, organized around three main principles:
- Market instruments adapted to the competitiveness of European agriculture: safety nets to protect the agricultural sector from the effects of major crises, or insurance and mutual funds to insure farmers’ incomes;
Finally, the report also stresses the need to ensure safe, quality food for all by reinforcing the links between agricultural and food policies.
- Direct payments for a fair and adequate distribution of financial resources: the redistribution of funds between Member States and the possibility for them to maintain an "envelop of flexibility" dedicated to specific needs such as sustainable development;
- A more efficient and sustainable rural development by introducing measures for diversification and closer coordination with structural funds, policies for innovation and the creation of value-added;
The adoption of a common position on the CAP by France and Germany is essential not only to re-engage a politically and economically weakened Europe, but also to reposition Europe as a major agricultural player internationally. The 2013 deadline which theoretically marks the advent of a currently undefined "new CAP", is quickly approaching, with the international community mobilized in G20 meetings to rapidly reach concrete regulation methods for financialized markets, particularly agricultural markets. Europe cannot afford to miss these two dates or stay in the background because of a lack of consensus on something as strategic as agriculture.
It is partly for this reason that the momagri think tank was created. The work initiated by momagri since 2005 could be very useful for European policy makers by providing:
- A concrete example of how to apply a renewed CAP around the principles put forward by momagri;
- Unique assessment and forecasting tools adapted to the new context of agricultural markets and hence essential to future negotiations.